Industry Members Support Continuation of Blueberry Council

Brian German Fruits & Vegetables, Industry

Blueberry Council

Industry members have approved the continuation of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) for another five years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that highbush blueberry producers and importers largely supported continuing their national research and promotion program. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held the referendum vote between October 8 and October 22.

“Since joining the USHBC within the last referendum period, I’ve admired what the industry has worked together to achieve to date, and now am honored and humbled to be part of our journey for the next five years and beyond,” USHBC President Kasey Cronquist said in a press release. “The future is bright for blueberries, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work on the behalf of our stakeholders to build upon and strengthen our demand-driving programs. Go blueberries!”

The USHBC has served as the blueberry research and promotion program under USDA since 2001. The program supports research and outreach activities to increase consumption of U.S. blueberries. Continuing the program requires more than half of eligible industry members that represent more than half of overall blueberry volume voting in favor. According to AMS, 84 percent of the producers and importers who voted in the referendum, representing 93 percent of blueberry volume, were in favor of continuing the blueberry council. USHBC notes that the voting figures represent a 10 percent increase in producers and importers and a 13 percent increase in volume over the last referendum vote.

“Having many fellow growers join me in support of USHBC means a tremendous amount – it will be the fuel and motivation for council and committee members to take our industry to new heights,” said Shelly Hartmann, chair of the USHBC. “I’m also eager to continue listening and learning from growers, importers and all industry stakeholders as we work together, united under our vision to make blueberries the world’s favorite fruit.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West