Mexico's soft fruit sector growing strongly
The conditions for soft fruit production in Mexico are ideal: 1,500 metres above sea level, an average of 800-1200 mm of rainfall and temperatures between 16-25 degrees Celsius. The production area has increased from 9,000 hectares in 2004 to more than 22,000 hectares in 2012. The same applies to production volumes, from 207,000 tonnes in 2004 to more than 524,000 tonnes in 2012.
The production of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries over the past 12 years has grown at an annual average of 22 %. Mexico is estimated to be the world's sixth largest berry producer and the second largest exporter. Strawberries are also on the rise. From 2011 to 2012, production volumes increased by 57%, turning Mexico into the world's fifth largest producer and the third largest exporter.
This increase is not only due to the ideal climatic conditions, as the use of natural cultivation methods also plays a role. The fruit is grown in greenhouses made of micro-tunnels. That way, a year-round production is possible, which is important for large customers, such as the United States.
Cooperation is the key word for Mexican fruit producers, as it is the only way to gain market share. The trade association Aneberries AC is the driving force behind this success. Its 17 members produce and export all kinds of berries. Aneberries aims to represent its members at national and international level and strives to promote improvements in the areas of sustainability, food quality and safety, but also in the field of business management and cooperation with the Mexican government. ■