CBI Product Factsheet: Fresh Berries in Europe
Imports of fresh berries into the European market from developing countries have doubled over the past five years. Berries are increasingly offered as a convenient and healthy snack, seducing shoppers into buying them. Although many berries are grown in Europe itself, demand is much higher than European production and imports from developing countries are filling in the gap.
This factsheet primarily concerns raspberries (Rubus idaeus), blackberries (Rubus ), bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus; European blueberries), and blueberries (Vacinium cyanococcus, Vaccinium corymbosum). Other berries dealt with in this factsheet are currants (Ribes nigrum; Ribes rubrum) and gooseberries (Ribes grossularia), and cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus) and products like cowberries/foxberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). Raspberries and blackberries are both members of the rose family and grow on perennial bushes. This also goes for blueberries. All berries are rather small and have soft skins; this makes them vulnerable in the total supply chain. Most berries are also produced in Europe, and are imported from other countries during the off-season. Cranberries are imported from the USA and Canada mainly, and may not be one of the most interesting products for exporters from developing countries.