Blueberry Industry News Summary #1 May 2015

Blueberry Industry Update Late Spring 2015
This article reflects an opinion of the website manager and is based on researching current blueberry industry updates.

Great, so what do we do with all these blueberries we grew?

The bottom line is that all aspects of the US blueberry industry need to work together to either find or create more demand for blueberries. The cold storage numbers at the end of March 2015 increased to 152.8 million pounds as compared to March 2014. (130.8 million pounds). Cold storage numbers are expected to increase given robust harvests on available acreage. With US acres in blueberry production and exports from South America also increasing, it is imperative to find new ways to use and market blueberries.

..and 2015 Tracks To Be A Record Harvest

…implications above compounded by indications of a robust 2015 Blueberry Harvest!
Chile’ exports surge 22%, with most of those coming to the US and Canada. In the US, the blueberry harvest is coming early and is expected to be heavy. British Columbia expects to break last year’s record crop and their season started early. Factor in blueberry acreage in young plantings for more volume versus demand pricing pressure on blueberries.

Technology in growing blueberries is far outpacing the success at expanding the market for this very healthy commodity. The solution will not come about easily, but keeping the North American blueberry industry growing and healthy will demand imagination, cooperation and persistence at all levels of marketing. Is there a new way to package blueberries that make it an affordable for families to get their “cup a day”? Could a shift to more organic acreage help distinguish North American berry production from import product? Just how do we make blueberries part of everyone’s daily diet and keep it profitable for North American  berry farmers?

If you have ideas, add your voice by joining the conversation. Even better, join your voice to the North Carolina Blueberry Council, Inc. or other similar organization. Organizations like the North Carolina Blueberry Council bring together producers, vendors, researchers, marketing and governmental agencies with a stake in a healthy North American blueberry industry.

USHBC Blueberry Industry Member Specific News

Comments Due On USHBC Membership Changes

Action Date: Comments Due July, 7, 2015
Due to unanimous approval at the 2014 USHBC Fall Meeting, modifications have been made, approved and submitted to the Federal Register. A major modification of these rules will expand member representation to include North Carolina and Florida. This rule change expands the states represented to eight which also represents 97% of the USA blueberry productions. Comments on the proposed rule changes  are due by July 7th.

For more information or questions about the proposed rule changes, contact Mark Villata at the USHBC at 916-983-0111

Click To Read Federal Register Notice On Proposed Rules