United Exports will be shipping blueberries to the UK for the first time this season, harvesting of the first volumes got under way a month ago. The first fruit was harvested in May, but due to frost in the north of the country the season has started later than normal.

Blueberry production is in its early stages for the company in South Africa with around 10 ha in commercial production, with a further 50 ha currently being planted. The volumes from these areas will increase as the bushes mature. The company has until now been focussing on the domestic market. This season it will also airfreight blueberries to the UK and will do some seafreight trials.

The variety grown has been tested for shelf life of 42 days, which would allow exports via seafreight. The variety has been bred by “Early Blue”. United Exports is the exclusive licensee for South Africa, North & South America. The berries are currently being marketed under the “OZ blueberries” brand.

This article first appeared in www.freshplaza.com and was written by Nichola Watson

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