Nordic folk prefer them in pies and jams but in Asia the berries have been in high demand, particularly in the last decade regarding beauty from within products.
According to Export Finland, Sweden and Finland are the top producers of Nordic bilberries, which end up primarily in China and Japan.
In 2012 alone, the authority reported that Finland exported the equivalent of 18 blue whales in weight of fresh bilberries to Japan.
According to NPR.org, as berry picking season coincides with the monsoons in Thailand, as many as 1,060 Thai farmers and fishermen are recruited to pick berries.
"There is not so much to do, so it's the perfect time for them to fly over to Sweden, Finland and work here for berry picking," Juha Ruohola, CEO of Polarica, a Swedish berry supplier told the publication.
Ellagic acid derived from berries has been shown to be an effective anti-wrinkle treatment
A study by scientists in at Hallym University in South Korea back in 2009 showed that the powerful antioxidant content found in the acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory response typically associated with photo-ageing associated with environmental influences such as UV rays.
The study was carried out in laboratory condition on hairless mice, which were continually exposed to UVB rays – traditionally associated with skin wrinkling.
Ellagic acid is derived from a host of vegetables, nuts and fruits, but is found in highest concentrations in strawberries, raspberries and pomegranates.
Although ellagic acid has been used in a number of anti-ageing formulations in the past, this was the first concrete scientific study highlighting its anti-ageing properties.