Blueberries grow on shrubs and their blue exterior is covered with what is commonly known as ¨bloom¨. For over 10 years we have been specialized producers working on perfecting the blueberry production techniques through research and innovation as well as varietal innovations. All our experience is reflected in our quality fruit and our capacity to meet all challenges in order to not only offer a product of the highest quality, but also the best possible service to our clients.
THE BLUE CANDY
fresh and very sweet
contact our agents and they will provide you with a list of all our varieties
You can’t speak of blueberries without mentioning Hermanos Pulido of Bonares. José Pulido, along with his brother Alfonso, continue on the path begun by their father, who from a very young age dedicated himself to the world of agriculture. It is this provenance and the transfer of experience, accumulated by his father over years, which has made them one of the best producers of European blueberries, pioneers in their cultivation in the province of Huelva. José and Alfonso Pulido are growers through and through that respond to the needs of their fruit, as are all the producers of Plus Berries. More than just members of the group, they are its true essence.
With a long history of success in the commercialization of strawberries behind them, Roberto Arnal Sr. and Roberto Arnal Jr. began a project of cultivating some very special products, which at the beginning of the century were not easy to find. With a clear objective of applying their commercial and work philosophy to the cultivation of blueberries and blackberries, they tried to answer the demand of their clients, through the values of trust, transparency and honesty. Roberto Arnal Sr. and Jr., growers through and through like all the producers of Plus Berries, are more than just members of the group; they are its essence.
After years of experimental research we have developed a personalized production process. The optimization and the exhaustive control of this process, from planting to the delivery to our clients, ensures the achievement of our goal: the highest quality. Food safety and the traceability of the product are ensured in every stage of the process.
Our blueberry shrubs are started in certified and authorized nurseries and are potted and delivered when they are only 1 year old. Since this plant is very susceptible to diseases related to wet roots, adequate preparation of the soil prior to planting is very important. The cultivation ridges must be of loose soil but stable and well aerated, with size and shape variations depending on the type of soil. After the ridge has been irrigated, each seedling is planted by hand, generally leaving a distance of 70 and 80 cm between plants.
The cultivation takes place under large metallic arc-shaped structures called macrotunnels. In autumn we cover the plantation with plastic film in order to protect the blossoms from winter winds and rains and to maintain more even temperatures inside the tunnel. Once spring and summer arrive we cover the plantation with a shading screen that protects plants and workers from excessive heat. The fertilizer is calculated with the help of agroclimatic stations, taking into account crop extraction, soil fertility level, the nutritional status of the plant and transpiration of the plant and soil. Ultimately this is done to make efficient use of fertilizers and water to avoid contributing more than necessary and so as not to waste a drop of valuable water resources.
The picking is done by hand, under strict quality control, food safety and organizational standards. The harvest period is between the months of March and June according to variety and their optimum state of maturity, and it is accomplished in several stages. It is carried out under the best conditions and with the utmost care to avoid bruising the fruits, which lowers their quality and causes infections. The picking is done in bulk for subsequent packaging in our warehouses.
Each item is received from the field on the same day with a guarantee of origin based on a traceability code system, which identifies the origin of each item of fruit (on which plot it has been cultivated and who collected it). It is labelled and new quality controls are performed to facilitate its subsequent cold storage until final packaging and handling.
In order to lower the high temperatures of the fruit as it comes in from the field, it enters the receiving chambers which are kept at temperatures of between 6º and 8ºC.
We carry out exhaustive quality control checks throughout the production process, along the lines recommended by the different certifying bodies that evaluate us. Achieving the highest quality is our obsession at every stage, from the fruit’s delivery from the fields, to the control of caliber and firmness, labeling and even the control of temperatures and storage after packaging.
We pick our blueberries in bulk for later packaging on our automated weighing line. The fruit is carefully poured over a mesh belt to remove any foreign objects from the field such as leaves or petals. It then goes to an inspection belt where workers remove the fruits that do not meet the required quality standards. Finally, all the undersized fruits are removed and the remaining fruit goes to automated multi-head scale filling machine, guaranteeing a high degree of accuracy in the final weight of the sales package. This process gives us great flexibility and responsiveness to serve our customers.
As the fruit is finished packing, the palletization process is carried out. What some would describe as a simple process of stacking boxes on top of one another, for us is nothing less important than any previous phase of the process. It is the art of making sure our precious berries reach our customers in the best condition. It is crucial to be meticulous and arrange the boxes neatly, so that none stands out from the transport pallets and gets damaged in the trucks. The corners must be protected with corner guards, to cover the fruit when necessary to protect it from cold damage, and finally to strap the stack of boxes so that jostling doesn’t cause them to fall to the floor. No detail is too small so that in the end our customers receive the product in their facilities intact.
Before loading the trucks, the finished pallets are introduced into chilling chambers to lower the temperature of the fruit to its optimum level of 2° C, to prolong its shelf life.
Once the pallets reach the optimum temperature, the transport is called for pickup, loading the goods into the trucks by means of electric pallet trucks.
This fruit, in addition to being a great source of antioxidants, is also a source of a healthy essential omega-3 acid, called alpha-linolenic acid, associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Some research has also suggested that this compound provokes an increased neuroprotective effect in living subjects from ischemia and certain types of epilepsies. In addition, several studies suggest that a diet rich in blueberries helps protect blood vessels.
One of the most well-known benefits of the blueberry is its ability to counteract age-related deterioration of memory and brain function. However, these are not the only functions it affects, as the blueberry has even shown to help protect against cancer. In the laboratory, blueberries induced self-destruction of breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.
In combination with probiotics, they have also been shown to influence colitis (inflammation of the large intestine) and liver damage, as well as fighting the parasites that may be responsible for diarrhea.