Increasing demand and competition on the berries' world market
What should Georgian farmers do to get into the foreign markets?
World market of berries is the one of the most dynamically increasing fruit markets. As experts predict, consumption of berries is going to increase rapidly during the following years in Western Europe. It will follow the American path, where annual sales of berries reach 5.6 bln US dollars. Annual growth rate of consumption in Western Europe is 8%, while annual increase of fruit market is only 1-2%. Specialists predict that total trade volume of berries will reach 2.1 mln tones for 2020.
Andriy Yarmak, Economist at FAO:
“If Georgian producers want to increase their sales, they have to produce berries better than others. This should be taken into account before they start investing. Only high quality berries can find their place on EU and US markets. We are not expecting deficit in future, as production of berries increases more than population. However, there are many low quality products on the world markets and this should become incentive for farmers to produce high quality berries as price is higher in this case.
Those focused on huge quantities should be oriented on export. In order to do this they need to think about shock freezing. Success mainly depends on quality indicators of fresh berries and their taste characteristics. Farmers should supply their berries on offseason when harvesting has not started in other countries yet. For instance, the best period of Georgian blueberries is last three weeks of June, when supply is on its minimum in Europe. It is possible to transport blueberries up to 3 thousand km without its physical damage. This resilience increases its market price.”
Analysis of current trends on world market shows that, it is less likely that production of berries will exceed the demand level. However, experts at FAO claim, that world market trends on berries is changing very fast and it is impossible to have forecast for more than 3 years. The fact is that the development of modern technologies allows farmers to increase their harvests and as a result, competition on the market increases gradually.
The article is prepared with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and "Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme."