Blueberries are the super superfood. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and contain the highest antioxidant capacity in it’s category. Blueberries are naturally low in calories and fat. They’re made up of carbs and mostly water but also have a decent amount of fiber. Blueberries are a great source of manganese, vitamins C, and K1. These super berries also provide small amounts of copper, as well as vitamins E and B6. Blueberries have seemingly endless health and nutrition benefits, so it’s no wonder it’s a household staple. This little berry makes it’s way onto many of our weekly list of grocery items, but is only seasonally available in the United States March to September. So where do our blueberries come the other five months of the year? Here at Homegrown, they come from the fertile lands of Chile.
The Chilean blueberry season fills the harvesting gaps in the U.S. from October through April. Chile is one of the largest exporters of blueberries in the world and has 15,601 hectares (one hectare contains about 2.47 acres) planted with blueberry bush, with 17% of those grown organically. Blueberry growers in Chile have, “… an ongoing commitment to finding new and better varieties to provide an outstanding consumer experience in terms of flavor, size, and texture. Research and development of new technologies for growing, harvesting, packing and shipping will continue to expand the global market for Chilean blueberries”.
This season will be our second annual organic blueberry import program with Chilean grower, Valles del Sur. This partnership has provided a blueberry harvest from October through March to compliment the alternating California and Oregon seasons. With the addition of our blueberry import program, we are able to provide a year-round organic blueberry program to always check organic blueberries off your grocery lists.
Among the initial announcements of our partnership with Valles del Sur, our CEO Scott Mabs noted, “The team in Chile greatly aligns with the mission, vision and values of Homegrown and operates in a very similar method of business. Together we are excited to bring their product to the US market and better serve our customs with a more robust organic blueberry program.” Valles del Sur started farming in 1991 and were among the first to plant blueberries in the region. Since 2018, Valles del Sur has been Fair Trade USA certified and takes pride in providing its year-round workers and seasonal harvesters with a safe working environment and access to Fair Trade program benefits. Read more on Valles del Sur and the impact their Fair Trade certification has had on their workers on our growers page. Watch the video below to learn more on the Valles del Sur organic blueberries and how the Fair Trade USA programs have benefited the lives of their growers and farm workers.