08 Apr 2021

MOROCCO ON THE CREST OF A WAVE FOR BLUEBERRY AND RASPBERRY

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Morocco is currently the focus of interest for international operators at berries , both because it is in the middle of its production and export season and because the online edition of the Morocco Berry Conference is underway.

The North African country has seen dramatic growth in recent years in the area devoted to berries. Between 2008 and 2019 the strawberry crop increased from 2400 to 3700 hectares, but it is those of raspberry and blueberry that saw the most impressive increases from 130 to 3100 hectares (raspberry) and from 150 to 2700 hectares (blueberry), respectively; smaller areas are in production for blackberries (100 hectares in 2019) and goji (50 hectares), both of which were absent in 2008.

In the current 2020/21 crop year, areas are estimated to be 3100 hectares for strawberries, 3100 hectares for raspberries, and 3000 hectares for blueberry. Stable blackberries and goji, 100 hectares and 50 hectares respectively.

The production areas are divided between Rabate-Salè-Kenitra (52%), Souss Massa Daraa (25%) and Tang Tètouan Al Hocelma (23%). The economic impact is estimated at 16.5 million working days across the supply chain in 2019, compared to 4.75 million days in 2008.

The export rate varies per product: from 95% for blueberry to 90% for raspberries, while strawberries have a strong domestic market for which only 50% is exported.

Total exports (fresh and frozen) amounted to over 170,000 tons in the 2019/2020 season, divided between strawberries (60%), raspberry (20%), blueberry (19%) and others (1% for blackberries and goji). The total turnover was € 111M for strawberries, € 207M for blueberries, € 180M for raspberries: this turnover increased 3.5 times compared to 2012/2013 exceeding the total figure of € 500M.

The main markets for the export of Moroccan berries are in the European Union (84% in 2019/20) with Spain (37%), the UK (15%), the Netherlands (12%), France (10%) and Germany (9%) predominating.

The current campaign 2020/21 is recording a 23% increase in exported quantities compared to the previous season. In particular, blueberry reached 17,800 tonnes (+75%), raspberries 27,200 tonnes (+11%) and strawberries 21,500 tonnes (+11%).

The sector is organised around the common interprofessional table 'Interproberries Maroc' chaired by Mohamed Alamouri and directed by Abdeslam Acharki. This federation coordinates the activities of the Moroccan Association of Soft Fruit Producers (AMPFR) and the Moroccan Association of Soft Fruit Packers and Exporters (AMCEFR).

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