The Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) in the region of Los Rios is working to certify blueberry exports. The activity was supervised by the Regional minister of Agriculture, Claudia Lopetegui, and by the Regional Director of SAG, Jorge Oltra, during a visit to the exporting plant PI Berries in Mafil.
According to the latest fruit land registry, the region has more than 1,400 hectares devoted to blueberry production, which so far have produced 6,500,000 kilos of fruit this (2016-2017) season. This is 24% more than in the 2015-2016 season, as there has been an increase of 290,000 boxes to date, which are destined for the United States, European Union, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Argentina.
The regional minister of the agricultural sector welcomed this growth. "In the high season, the blueberry industry is a development engine that provides work for 56,000 people in our region. The Ministry of Agriculture finds it vital to protect the country's plant and animal health, as this is what allows us to conduct exports in the agricultural sector," he said.
During their visit, officials toured the orchards, observed the harvesting, production, and participation in the certification work. The exporting company harvests 76 hectares of different blueberry varieties such as elliot, camellia, Briggita, Diuk, and legacy, among others. This season they expect to produce one million kilos of fruit for export, mainly to the United States.
"The work carried out by the control service and phytosanitary heritage protection is essential for us to reach markets. In this sense, the SAG has always had a very good disposition to support us throughout the export process. Being able to send our products in containers directly to the in port is the result of a joint effort," said the Manager of Operations at Pi Berries, Mauricio Riffo.
In turn, the Regional Director of SAG highlighted the constant work of the Agricultural Livestock Service in the field. "They've worked throughout the whole year to reach this final stage of certification. The export process begins with the registration of companies and participating producers, field monitoring, and authorizations according to the requirements of the target markets, among other things. In addition there must be monitoring and agricultural trapping in orchards to see if there are pests and diseases that may affect the development of the category," he said.