Florida’s blueberries to begin trips to Panama in April
Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was in Panama recently pushing the Florida blueberry and other Florida grown produce. The January trade mission was planned to increase Florida’s $100 billion agriculture industry. In the last decade, crops that have doubled in production, and in some cases tripled, include blueberries, strawberries and watermelon.
There has been a recent trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama, and that has boosted trade between the two countries. Commissioner Putnam is hoping to widen the canal, which would allow for larger freight ships. If this is passed, it would mean much more product leaving Florida for Panama.
The visit led to a deal with Plant City’s Wish Farms to ship Florida strawberries to Panama this month and to ship Florida blueberries when the harvest starts in April. Florida has never had a shipment of blueberries to Panama before. In fact, the fruit is not readily available at all in Panama. But demand is changing, especially since the fruit’s reputation as a super food with incredible health benefits and antioxidants.
Looking in the future, the hope is that Panama will serve as a gateway to other South and Central American markets.