The US the world’s largest producer of blueberries and becomes the first country to gain official market access to the Philippines with US exports expected to supply Philippine retail and food service sectors. The imports will help boost the existing but limited domestic production and has been effective since May 2020.
LaTraders estimate sales of US fresh blueberries could reach US$500,000 in the first season, with the potential for that to grow in excess of US$1m in the future with concerted marketing efforts aimed at increasing consumer awareness.
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) had previously allowed limited and intermittent importation of fresh blueberries specifically for hotels, restaurants, and high-end supermarkets.
Sales over the past five years (2015 to 2019) averaged US$150,000 annually according to the DA, which equated to roughly 20 tonnes.
Licensed importers will be required to secure sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC) from the DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry.
Blueberries are native to North America. They were first cultivated for sale in 1916.
US blueberry imports will be subject to the Most Favoured Nation tariff rate, which currently sits at seven per cent, and will also be subject to 12 per cent Value Added Tax.
Source: philstar.com, fruitnet.com
Image Sources: philstar.com, freshfruitportal.com, groworganic.com