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Berry Production in Israel

22 June 2023

Jamie Petchell made a trip to Israel in May to spend time with our main berry partners in the country. Over the three days with the team from Mei Ami Quality Plants; Uriel, Shiri, Roni and Michal, we visited a wide range of growers in the north and south of the country. Israel has an incredibly diverse range of growing climates, meaning that fresh produce crops, including berries, can be produced twelve months of the year.

Despite its varying climates offering extended production opportunities, there are a number of challenges that are also conferred. Water resources are naturally scarce and as a result, the country is known as a world leader in irrigation technology. Growers, large and small, are required to employ leading-edge growing methods to produce high-quality berry crops. These include sophisticated protected cropping systems, soil-less cultures, and state-of-the-art automated irrigation and fertigation equipment.

One of the main reasons Jamie Petchell visited was to check on the progress of the JHL raspberry varieties that we represent in the territory. We have licensed Mei Ami Quality Plants with the Skye and Lewis raspberry varieties. The first plants cleared quarantine in the country in early 2023 and they were then grown for distribution to growers during the spring. Having now been established for several weeks, the plants are looking in great shape with tremendous vegetative growth. We are all now waiting in anticipation to see and taste the first berries from the primocanes during the fruiting season.

The berry production industry in Israel is a relatively small one in terms of pure hectares and it is difficult to source any official statistics. However, production per hectare or per square metre is very high on a global scale and prices for the produce are often much higher than in many parts of the world. On the other hand, production, harvesting, and distribution costs are also much more than in most locations.

Traditionally, the Israeli berry market and home production has been protected by local laws. More recently however, the import of fresh blueberries has been permitted, albeit with very strict hygiene and quarantine controls. This is causing some concern from local blueberry producers, but the full and real impact of imports has yet to be seen and as ever in global markets, there will always be opportunities for high-quality homegrown produce.


While in Israel, we also discussed the asparagus crop. Asparagus is being grown on a relatively small scale in the country, but my impression is that there is an opportunity for this to be scaled up in the next few years. Generally, people in the country eat an extremely healthy diet. Just with this in mind, there must be an opportunity to introduce more asparagus into people’s natural eating habits. Overall, we had some of the best food we have ever eaten while in Israel.


Although it was for a short time, it was great to spend a few days in Israel and we eagerly anticipate the results from our varieties in the coming weeks and months.

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