A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that berries are now a popular fresh produce export for Mexico and Latin America. The publication highlights the recent increased production and transportation of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, primarily to the United States.
The Mexican berry sector experienced a shift in demand from strawberries for processing to fresh market goods and cultivation of all berry types. According to the report, the combined total export of berries is estimated to reach $1 billion in the next five years. This would rank berries at the top of Mexican fruit and vegetables exports, second only to tomatoes at $1.7 billion.
USDA FAS berry production comparison in metric tons.
USDA released a report demonstrating an increase in U.S. imports of all four Mexican berry types. The data revealed a 33 percent increase in U.S. imports for blueberries, compared to the same period of the previous year, an 18 percent increase for raspberries, and a 45 percent rise in strawberries. This trend is expected to continue. The report attributes the rise in production to protected agriculture. Mexican growers shifted from open field production to the new shade house technology, boosting berry production across the board.
This new system makes up 50 percent of blueberry and strawberry production, 40 percent of blackberries, and 90 percent of raspberries. The new rise in berry exports has brought many benefits for growers in Mexico. Small-scale growers and local economies can profit from this expanding market and no longer feel the pressure to migrate north for better opportunities.
For questions regarding distribution methods for your fresh produce in Pharr, please contact Fred Sandoval from the Pharr produce district 956.402.4332.