After taking over US’ Smithfield Foods, and commandeering the red wine market, China will soon conquer another food frontier: blueberries! According to industry experts at the 2014 International Blueberry Congress (apparently that’s a thing) in Qingdao, China will become both the number one blueberry producer and consumer:
Armstrong, who is also executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, said Chilean blueberry exports to China have been growing by 50 percent every year, since the country can supply fruit during China’s winter.
He said world production and consumption will continue to rise, with North America accounting for 80 percent of the global total, although Europe and Asia have “big potential” for growth.
Chen Shaopeng, senior vice-president of Legend Holdings Ltd, and chairman and president of Joyvio Group, a high-end fruit grower and food retailer, said China’s blueberry production has expanded quickly and there is huge potential to increase consumption of the fruit.
He said China’s blueberry-growing area has grown rapidly to the world’s second-largest by area, with 20,366 hectares in 2013.
Armstrong said that in terms of production capacity, the US and Chile are still in first and second place since most Chinese plantations are new.
Joyvio has acquired Wallen Agriculture (Qingdao) Ltd, the country’s largest blueberry grower, and invested in entire production chains for the fruit.
But if you think blueberries are an odd item for China to be the number one producer of, just know that the atheist Middle Kingdom is also home to one of the world’s largest bible producers.
[Image via i1.ytimg.com]