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Georgia increases the exports of fresh strawberries to Russia

According to EastFruit experts, Georgia is making better use of its climatic advantages to increase exports of value-added products. At the same time, berries are one of the fastest growing export segments. However, given export records for expensive blueberries, the growth in the exports of strawberries from Georgia turned out to be unnoticeable.

Notably, in the official data of Georgia, its export of strawberries to Russia is often much lower than in the Russian data on the imports of strawberries from Georgia. In particular, according to the import statistics of the Russian Federation in the 2021 season, Georgia supplied 391 tonnes of fresh strawberries there, which was 35% more than in 2020. In 2019, the export amounted to only 12 tonnes.

Due to the fact that strawberries ripen in Georgia in April-May, they do not meet much competition in the Russian market. Therefore, the prices for berries are very attractive in this period in Russia. The import price for strawberries purchased in Georgia reaches $2.5/kg allowing Georgian suppliers to expand their plantations. The first strawberries from Georgia are usually exported in mid-April and deliveries last until mid-May.

It should be noted that the potential for the development of fresh strawberry exports  from Georgia can be assessed as quite large. The main limiting factor here may be a shortage of labor for harvesting berries. In this regard, it should be noted that the segment of growing berries in greenhouses has the greatest prospects, which will improve the quality parameters and reduce risks. In addition, growing in greenhouses will allow transporting berries from Georgia to Russia with less losses, as well as an earlier harvest.

For comparison, Turkey exports more than 100 times more strawberries to Russian   than Georgia annually. Even Serbia having less favorable weather conditions and located farther from Russia exports 20 times more strawberries to Russia than Georgia. However, one should not forget that targeting only one sales market, especially if it is known for its unpredictability and frequent unreasonable bans on supplies, is too risky. Therefore, Georgia should now look for alternative markets for strawberries, as besides Russia, it exports only small volumes of strawberries to Armenia.

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