Canadian Blueberries

A True Taste of Nature

The sunny days of late summer and early autumn are harvest time for Canada's blueberry crop. In British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, workers hand-pick the sweetest fruits for the table market, while mechanical pickers scoop up the berries destined for freezing and processing.

Canada is the world's second-largest producer and exporter of these delectable berries, after the United States, and they are a highly valuable crop.

These small blue globes have always been prized, and for centuries were a special favourite among Canada's First Nations. Long before the Europeans arrived, they had learned how to smoke the wild fruit for winter use, mix it with honey and cornmeal to make blueberry pudding, and make a blueberry syrup to cure coughs. Nowadays, Canada's blueberries are commercially grown in both wild and cultivated varieties, making them unique—no other Canadian fruit shares this distinction.

Lowbush and highbush blueberries

Canada is the world's largest producer of “lowbush blueberries,” which is another name for wild blueberries. Most are grown commercially in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. They are native to Eastern North America and grow best on treeless land or on land that has been burned over. Wild blueberries are unusual because growers do not plant them, but instead manage wild stands that spread naturally by means of underground runners. Since managed wild blueberry fields can have several distinct runner systems, the berries are often not uniform in appearance—but the delectable taste is always the same.

“Highbush” refers to cultivated blueberry plants, which were developed from the wild variety in the first half of the 20th century. British Columbia grows the majority of highbush blueberries (93 percent) but they can also be found in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. They are harvested earlier than lowbush berries and are larger and less perishable, which makes them highly suitable for shipping to retail markets. As a result, much of the highbush crop is sold fresh, in contrast to the lowbush crop, which is mostly destined for processing and freezing.

Sweet nutrition

Canadian blueberries are delicious in pancakes, pies, tarts, muffins, sauces and cakes, but they are amazingly versatile in other dishes as well. Their fresh, natural flavour enhances the taste of pork, chicken and game, and chefs can combine them with almost any other fruit or berry to make a delectable dessert. Wild blueberry juice, a relatively new arrival on the culinary scene, won the Best New Juice Innovation at the World Juice Congress in 2005.

Thanks to market demand, there's been a dramatic increase in blueberry growing area and production during the past decade—for both wild and cultivated varieties. This demand is fuelled by a rising awareness of the health benefits associated with dietary antioxidants, which occur naturally in a number of berries. Blueberries are extremely rich in these antioxidants, which makes them especially appealing to health-conscious consumers. They are also low in calories, high in fibre and nutrients, and may contribute to heart health since they appear to act as an anti-inflammatory and may reduce blood cholesterol levels.

A clean, natural harvest

Canadian blueberries are grown in clean, healthy conditions. They are monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which ensures that they comply with grading, packaging and labelling regulations.

Blueberries are a delicate fruit, harvested with great care to ensure maximum quality, while advances in processing mean that they are in top condition when they reach consumers.

Taste the Canadian difference

There is nothing quite like the sweet, intense taste of Canadian blueberries. For further information about this unique fruit and the growers who produce it, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

HS Codes

  • 08104011 - Blueberries, wild, fresh
  • 08104012 - Blueberries, cultivated, fresh
  • 08119011 - Blueberries, wild, uncook, steam or boil in water sweetened or not, frozen
  • 08119012 - Blueberries, cultivated, uncook, steam or boil in water, sweet or not, frozen
Canada's Exports to All Countries ($CAD)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
08119011 183,889,813 159,016,984 120,859,657 122,248,533 -33.5%
08104012 49,640,844 48,037,103 55,493,250 58,564,795 18.0%
08119012 82,535,603 81,534,569 54,148,760 56,279,007 -31.8%
08104011 7,641,673 12,720,465 5,863,984 8,060,784 5.5%
Canada's Exports to All Countries (Quantity, KGM)
HS 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
08119011 36,933,934 38,164,143 35,980,919 43,560,965 17.9%
08119012 18,432,675 21,621,155 20,544,212 22,838,072 23.9%
08104012 8,550,733 9,840,238 14,297,935 13,870,078 62.2%
08104011 4,219,339 7,210,348 4,939,028 6,693,712 58.6%
Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Codes 08104011, 08104012, 08119011, 08119012, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
January 28,562,208 24,456,296 16,815,387 10,162,845
February 28,705,335 22,887,722 17,251,460 11,265,125
March 24,729,084 23,856,931 19,715,236 15,068,987
April 23,984,056 22,928,171 18,344,332 12,660,464
May 20,975,477 23,434,782 14,777,414 12,227,109
June 14,873,364 21,812,311 14,879,425 9,017,053
July 29,933,278 22,216,895 31,538,264 31,251,804
August 50,131,745 45,545,009 41,281,895 45,746,358
September 33,189,292 36,620,413 26,457,768 29,474,639
October 22,136,236 25,266,178 14,787,398 27,607,674
November 25,233,725 18,467,123 12,816,608 22,255,680
December 21,254,133 13,817,290 7,700,464 18,415,381
Total 323,707,933 301,309,121 236,365,651 245,153,119
Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province
(HS Codes 08104011, 08104012, 08119011, 08119012, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
Alberta 3,073,434 3,766,024 2,318,080 1,650,084
British Columbia 115,930,248 110,952,862 95,460,603 106,691,479
Manitoba 98,771 102,407 0 0
New Brunswick 4,989,619 1,822,775 436,892 682,910
Newfoundland 0 0 31,680 53,603
Nova Scotia 92,530,898 90,334,636 60,300,916 72,787,633
Ontario 591,743 139,518 195,370 1,014,842
Prince Edward Island 10,634,627 13,532,438 9,505,797 10,163,922
Canada's Top 10 Blueberry Markets
(HS Codes 08104011, 08104012, 08119011, 08119012, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
TOTAL: 323,707,933 301,309,121 236,365,651 245,153,119 -24.3%
United States 214,471,801 197,721,842 152,329,458 151,431,165 -29.4%
Germany 17,201,009 18,410,272 25,149,536 20,923,835 21.6%
Japan 33,600,297 28,857,222 18,997,067 21,999,062 -34.5%
Netherlands 7,056,938 11,358,814 6,992,744 11,089,010 57.1%
France 7,702,150 7,911,740 6,866,362 6,048,126 -21.5%
China 9,095,513 5,773,458 4,522,775 6,905,515 -24.1%
United Kingdom 15,912,021 16,027,928 8,065,032 6,105,329 -61.6%
Belgium 7,636,864 4,321,906 4,981,148 5,273,651 -30.9%
Australia 5,298,950 4,041,201 3,325,022 5,409,425 2.1%
South Korea 53,655 522,787 295,944 2,990,589 5473.7%