We recognize the real tension felt in our industry today. With that in mind, the following outlines the manner in which the USHBC and NABC intend to proceed in the days and weeks ahead.
USHBC is prohibited from engaging in any efforts for the purpose of influencing government action or policy, for that reason it is not authorized to participate in the 201 investigation. USHBC will continue its laser focus on promoting groundbreaking health research and driving the consumption of fresh, frozen and processed blueberries in grocery, online, foodservice, export and food manufacturing channels.
Our market research shows that blueberry consumption still has tremendous opportunity for substantial growth domestically and internationally and USHBC’s primary role is to help growers benefit from continuing to increase consumer and customer demand.
Established in 1965 to unite trading partners throughout North America and ensure a vibrant and healthy blueberry industry, NABC will not be taking a stand on the 201 issue, but will continue aggressively working with the U.S. government on programs to help domestic growers better compete moving forward. We have to address labor costs and regulatory issues, and assist growers in transitioning to varietals that can be more efficiently harvested while improving the consumer experience.
Both the USHBC and NABC will continue to fight for the short-term viability of our members and the long-term future success of our industry.
Chris Barnhill, USHBC Chairman
Ken Patterson, NABC Chairman