17 Feb 2024

German retailer stops Chilean blueberries with a very short notice

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With a very short notice, one of the major German supermarkets has abruptly suspended the supply of blueberries sourced from Chile. Chilean operators are deeply concerned that this decision could have a snowball effect on other German retailers.

Germany represents approximately 50% of Chilean blueberry exports to Europe, and this halt in supplies is having a severe impact. In fact, quantities of blueberries corresponding to agreed-upon programs are already in transit, and in the absence of a planned outlet, they will need to be redirected to alternative destinations, posing the risk of further damage.

The German supermarket justified the decision citing quality issues. However, according to some exporters, other sources had faced similar problems in the last year without undergoing a similar measure. Additionally, the German supermarket rejected the option to differentiate the Chilean product by price and format, thus denying consumers the opportunity to choose the product with the best value for money.

"A blow to our sector, the Chilean industry has supplied blueberries for over 10 years in the first quarter, supporting retail sales through transparent pricing and quantity agreements, programs, and promotions. The sales stop is a serious setback, and we would have expected a greater willingness to dialogue to jointly address challenges, as has always been done in the past," stated a Chilean producer.

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