Do you think that the huge growth in blueberry volumes expected from Peru over the coming years will be in line with global demand? We think the growth in new acreage is going to slow. And it’s going to be more of a focus on the replacement of varietals in existing acreage, which is what makes sense. And that will be pretty much in sync with the growth and demand. I believe the sooner we do that, the sooner we’re going to see a different growth rate in demand, consump - tion and penetration. At the retail end of the supply chain, do you see blueberries eventually being marketed by variety, as has been the case with table grapes? No, we don’t. We think that the berry category, the blue- berry category in particular, should learn from the experi- ence in other products that have been too quickly defined as “commodities.” We think the traits are a much more important driver, that there will be aromatic opportunities in terms of the label – not based on one varietal but based on multiple varietals. So, we see an interesting kind of flywheel of opportuni - ty — one that we are again focused on from a very long- term perspective. But, there will be Jumbo, and then there will be Jumbo. What I mean by that is there will be the premium Jumbo that’s really delivering the better eating experience, and then there will be the Jumbo that is becoming commod- itized because once again, a lot of growers are not focused on the consumer, they’re focused on the growing. We need to be focused on the consumer. And, for sweet varietals, for example, there is Driscoll’s doing a nice job with their own Sweetest Batch. That is a play on the sweetness of selected varietals they have.
do think Chile has an opportunity to play an important role to complement Peru, particularly in organic premi- um genetics. We also believe that the non-premium genetics in Chile will be going out of the business. We think the industry in 10 years will be much more driven by science and AI in addition to analytics and tech. And we think there’ll be a huge gap among a relatively small number of tru- ly vertically integrated players that have differentiated product offerings at scale. Then again, we are investing with leading tech partners to lead in innovation. I believe across these areas, we will see the drivers of the future for the industry. What do you see as the future for Peru as a global blueberry supplier? The advantages we saw so many years ago are playing out how we expected. And the beauty of Peru is that it now supplies the entire world. Historically, the majority of Peru’s shipments went to the U.S. market. The future I see is a future where Peru will have only one-third at the most of its exports going to the U.S. market. And, in 10 years from now, maybe that’s only 25%. So, we see an enor- mous number of trends in Asia driving Peruvian exports to supply the eating experience that Asia wants. We see a lot of difficulties in other locations, and we think Peru can help to complement and fill gaps in other markets. Then, I think the future will also see Peru supplying its own region in South America. However, I believe that this will be a very difficult busi - ness - even for Peru - in the long term, due to the relative- ly low penetration of proprietary genetics. Today, about 80% of the country’s volumes are still in the traditional varieties that are decades old. This will make exporting in the future a big challenge.
We think that the berry category, the blueberry category in particular, should learn from the experience in other products that have been too quickly defined as ‘commodities.’
Vision Magazine 43
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