Weather conditions are important for the production of blueberry what many German growers could realize during last season In our opinion, increasing the use of sorting machines in the production of blueberries is of great importance in controlling the quality of fruit, harvested from the field.
Last season was tough for German blueberry growers who suffered quality issues because of a delayed harvest, with some parts of the country experiencing rainy conditions, while other parts experienced drought.
“Delayed picking influences market prices and causes humidity, which causes fungus to grow, causing storage problems.” shared Maciej Chmielewski from Milbor.
“Growers who weren’t equipped with good irrigation systems and processing facilities to store picked berries were faced with issues once the drought hit. Once the German traders were made aware of the large supply and lower quality, they immediately lowered prices. Due to the fact that a majority of the growers only trade in the domestic market, they were left with no other option but to sell for less.”
“I had heard reports that prices dropped down to lower than €2 per kilo, which is most likely a result of the difficult weather conditions this year. Additionally, German growers are still planting older varieties which are more difficult to store. To make matters worse, they lacked the advanced sorting and packing equipment to keep the best quality berries, along with the proper cold stores to cool the berries.” said Maciej.
As previously mentioned, a majority of German blueberry production is sold on the local market, and Maceij believes that growers might be limiting their options. He shared that if producers were to switch to newer varieties and more advanced sorting and packing solutions, the German berries could be sold in more competitive markets where prices are higher.