Only a few years ago, most of the plantations belonged to blueberry enthusiasts who, thanks to the huge commitment to his cultivation, successfully produced good quality blueberries and successfully exported them.
Recent years have seen a definite increase in new plantations, some of them are very well-run and these farms specialize in the production of blueberries. However, there are many small ones under 4-5 ha, where blueberry is the second or third cultivated species and this fragmentation leads to a certain chaos. Many companies that trade other fruits have started to be interested in blueberries and buy from these smaller plantations. Very often, these new companies do not know the specific requirements that must be met when trading blueberries. Shopping in such companies may result in complaints, and this is not nice for anyone.
Companies that turn this fruit are interested in the lowest purchase price, for a simple reason they are interested only in margin, with the least amount of money for the purchased goods from the producer. Larger plantations are not very willing to cooperate with such companies, so such companies buy blueberries from the smallest farms, often closing the eye, to minor flaws such as - lack of quick cooling, preliminary sorting at high temperatures, damage resulting from harvest or lack of certificates ( goods with residues, etc.),
The purchase of blueberries from such companies is associated with a certain risk, often those responsible for quality checking in such companies are not able to assess the quality of purchased blueberries. There are problems with the continuity of cooling, blueberries are completed from small suppliers and there is a high risk that even a single pallet does not come from a single supplier.
This was the case at the end of the 2017 season, where fruit of poor quality reached the Western European market due to lack of awareness or greed of trading companies. The effect was that the export of blueberries practically faded, only those who could control the quality of blueberries were left and did not try at all costs to send goods that were not suitable for long transport.
Berries are specific and a number of requirements must be met in order to produce them well and rotate them. Price should not be a decisive element when choosing a supplier, too low a price can be a deterrent. Offers of less than 4 euro / kg can be dangerous for both producers and buyers. If the company offers blueberries at 3.5 euros / kg, at a margin of 1 euro / kg, the producer gets 2.5 euros / kg, or about 10 PLN. These are only production costs. Polish producers have big problems with employees, rates in the 2017 season have increased by 25-40% and everyone realizes that this is just the beginning of increases. The route of blueberries from shrubs to fruits pre-sorted on a pallet in the 2017 season is over 1 euro / kg and will grow. Offers of companies buying 2-2,5 euro / kg cause that the list of suppliers narrows down to those who do not meet basic standards, no refrigeration after harvest, lack of awareness about production and preparation of goods, low rates for arrays, a large percentage of soft blueberries, breaking into unsuitable containers.
Each recipient has to answer the question whether the priority is price or quality of blueberries. If the main criterion for choosing a price is the risk of a defective product is very high.
A good solution is buying blueberries straight from the producer, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
The entire transport from one producer, one GGN number
Greater mobilization of the manufacturer to maintain the highest quality
No unnecessary reloading of goods
Shortened time from collection to recipient abroad
On smaller farms, smaller one-off quantities of blueberries
A farm audit may be needed for new suppliers