Berry producers are confident that this season will be positive, after last year they faced impacts due to the exchange rate and the increase in raw material costs.
In the previous season, the industry in general grew around 10% in productivity, but in terms of profitability they were affected by the exchange rate, which caused a loss of around 15% in income.
“All crops were affected by 15%,” said the new president of the National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries), Miguel Ángel Curiel, who added that “we come from a very complicated season in general, not everything was honey on flakes, it is a growing industry that is stabilizing, the economic pressures at parity did not help us.”
“95% of what we produce is exported, therefore income has been lower, production costs have increased and what that does is put pressure on the industry,” he adds.
The leader of the berry producers acknowledged that the exchange rate issue cannot be controlled but that the outlook for the next season is positive. “I see a very optimistic producing sector, at the end of the day we are producers and the farmer is always optimistic.”
The drop from 20 to less than 17 pesos in the exchange rate of the peso against the dollar impacted the agricultural sector in the State. Among the most affected are berry producers.
“If we add the benefits and subtract the damages, I could say that it means 15% less income for exporters,” explained José Luis Bustamante, former president of Aneberries.
According to the Agri-Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), currently in Jalisco more than 10,400 hectares are destined for the cultivation of berries, among which are raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.
Bustamante said that, on the other hand, the exchange rate also benefited them with a 10% decrease in the cost of imported inputs.
“In the case of damage from payments, it is more or less the difference that we have right now, around 25% between the 20 and 17 pesos that we have in the value of the dollar,” he noted.
They seek to grow in new markets
José Luis Bustamante, former president of the National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries), explained that diversification to other countries will be to take advantage of market niches, but its main client will continue to be the United States.
“Of course we are going to have opportunities for other countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, but they are going to serve niche markets, which are good,” he added.
He also commented that they will also seek to grow in the Mexican market where there is an important growth niche.
“We have an outstanding debt to develop consumption in the Mexican market, making products more accessible to the consumer is a great challenge. The berries have been destined for export, however part of the task we have is to make them more accessible in the Mexican market,” noted the new president of Aneberries, Miguel Ángel Curiel.
He assured that the strawberry sector in Mexico will maintain its leadership in compliance with national and international regulations, mainly in matters of health and safety and social and environmental responsibility.
He highlighted that the industry provides decent and well-paid work to more than 500 thousand agricultural workers, who grow and harvest strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in more than 60 thousand hectares in 22 states of the country.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Jalisco, Ana Lucía Camacho Sevilla, stressed that our Entity is positioned as the main generator of healthy and safe food for the country, and the strawberry industry is an example of compliance with labor rights and social responsability.
One of the strawberries whose demand remains high. THE REPORTER
Where do Mexican berries go?
97% of Mexico’s berry exports go to the United States and Canada, while the remaining 3% are distributed among other territories in Europe and Asia.
An industry that is in full growth
The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development at the federal level, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, highlighted that the strawberry production chain is a pillar of the national economy and generator of more than 450 thousand direct jobs, where around 40% are for women.
He recognized the efforts made by the National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries) and the sector in terms of inclusion and social justice, as well as the comprehensive health of the environment and our people in the field.
The strawberry sector in Mexico will maintain its leadership in compliance with national and international regulations, mainly in matters of health and safety, as well as social and environmental responsibility, said Aneberries.
In 2022, berries were the second product with the highest export value, with four thousand 700 million dollars, so the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to promote public policies that contribute to the opening of new markets and the strengthening of existing, for the benefit of national producers.
Villalobos Arámbula highlighted that last year 560 thousand tons of strawberries were exported to 38 destinations, mainly the United States, but also to countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the European Community, which have shown great growth and recognize Mexican berries. paying better for its freshness, crunchiness and flavor.
“By sowing work, you reap opportunities,” he explained that the sector has also become a pillar of the national economy, since the productive chain generates more than 450 thousand direct jobs, where around 40 percent are for women,” he said.
He commented that, to continue supporting this work, the sector will continue to have public goods and services that ensure plant health, as well as the safety and quality of food produced in the country, through the National Health Service. Food Safety and Quality (Senasica).
He noted that in 2022, berries reached a production of one million 046 thousand 264 tons, in a planted area of 37 thousand 575 hectares, where strawberries represented 55.3%; blackberry, 21.3%; raspberry, 17.1%, and blueberry, 6.4 percent.
The head of Agriculture explained that the main producing states are Michoacán, with 601,416 tons (57.5%); Jalisco, 175 thousand 632 tons (16.8%); Baja California, 129 thousand 125 tons (12.3%); Guanajuato, 98,782 tons (9.4%), and Sinaloa with 13,343 tons (1.3%).
He highlighted that the members of the strawberry value chain carry out actions to benefit the environment and invited them to join the National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators (ENCUSP), since it is a relevant resource for the production of these fruits.
Villalobos Arámbula also recognized the efforts made by the National Association of Berry Exporters and the sector in terms of inclusion and social justice, as well as in comprehensive health of the environment and farmers.
He indicated that the sector presents challenges to overcome such as improving agro-logistics routes to optimize times and costs, as well as strengthening the health and safety required by Japan and South Korea or the certifications of Arab countries, and in this they have Agriculture as his best ally, he said.
THE INFORMER/ L. Martínez
Blueberry prices fall
Roberto de Alba, president of the Agricultural Council of Jalisco, explained that blueberry production increased both in Mexico and in other countries such as the United States and Peru, which caused a drop in the price.
“In the last three cycles it has been declining and right now some berry producers have focused on the production of organic raspberries,” he commented.
He highlighted that Peru does not produce raspberries and blackberries, which opens an opportunity for local producers. “It is cheaper to enable it and production is faster. After six months you already have your first production, you begin to recover the investment and that has been increasing the surface area,” he said.
Currently, a kilo of blueberries paid to producers is around seven dollars here and on the border around 10 dollars per kilo, while raspberries are sold for over 11 dollars.
“I think it is a good alternative. We are going to continue growing in these crops, especially raspberries and blackberries. I think blueberries are going to decline because there is more and more production and the market remains the same size,” explained Roberto de Alba, president of the Agricultural Council of Jalisco, CAJ.
A strawberry that has faced variations in the market. THE REPORTER
Jalisco, leader in raspberry production
After three decades of its introduction in Jalisco, the State has consolidated itself as a national leader in the production of raspberries, also known as “Mexican red gold,” with 6,398 hectares.
Due to the importance of this crop, along with other berries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader Jalisco), through the General Directorate of Agricultural Development, has permanent contact with this sector, which is provided support in programs specific, such as extensionism and the certification of small productive units.
An example of the take-off of the raspberry has occurred in Jocotepec, where cultivation began in the early 90s and has progressively spread, to the extent that it has already saturated the lands that have water availability for irrigation in the municipal territory.
This was reported by the director of Rural Development of this municipality, Francisco Salazar Hernández, who said that the increase in raspberry acreage (and other berries) has been such that some producers who have been successful with this fruit rent land in other municipalities. Of the entity. “Normally their way of working is to rent only. They make their contract for five or 10 years, especially when they are certain about the disposal of the water. Many of the businessmen from here, from Jocotepec, have left the side of Mazamitla and the Ciudad Guzmán lake.”
By the way, Jocotepec concentrates a quarter of the state’s production with 22,382 tons, according to the official report.
The great profitability of the crop, as is also the case with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, has been the key to the expansion, given that there are much higher profits than planting traditional grains. He added that there is also a need for large initial investments which are then offset by rates of return.
Francisco Salazar explained that this leasing of the land, different from their own for rest, is a measure required by the technical recommendations of the companies that purchase the berries, as it serves to reverse the depletion that occurs in the plots after several years. of the same crop. He explained that in this rest of the land, which takes one to two years, organic matter is also introduced so that the land recovers its fertility and productive potential.
THE INFORMER/ L. Martínez
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