Topics in this issue of Behind the Blue:
- USDA Announces 17.4 Million Pound Solicitation of Frozen Blueberries
- USHBC Announces QSP Grant Opportunities
- July is National Blueberry Month
The U.S. The Department of Agriculture has announced the intent to purchase 17.4 million pounds of frozen highbush blueberries under the authority of Section 32, formerly known as the “bonus buy” program, for use in the National School Lunch Program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
“This is an encouraging and timely announcement from USDA,” USHBC President Kasey Cronquist noted. “A big thank you to all those industry stakeholders, including the NABC, for working together to convey the necessary details and current market conditions to develop this Section 32 solicitation for our industry with USDA officials.”
Learn more and find out how to participate below.
The USHBC has funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Quality Samples Program (QSP) to purchase samples of dried blueberries, blueberry concentrate and frozen blueberries to develop new U.S. blueberry products in China and the Philippines.
The samples will be distributed to leading food manufacturers of baked goods, beverages, dairy products, jams and more through USHBC’s in-market partners.
Following product distribution, USHBC will meet with the manufacturers to ensure the samples are being used, receive feedback on the products, and identify the need for additional training and resources.
Learn more about these opportunities and find out how to submit a response at the links below.
In July, we’ll commemorate our nation’s founding and celebrate the role of blueberries in nourishing countless generations of Americans as part of National Blueberry Month! Since its introduction in 1974, National Blueberry Month has provided a chance to pause and enjoy the simple, delicious and nutritious goodness in every boost of blue.
While much has changed in the last 50 years, the timeless appeal of blueberries has not. Consumers have long enjoyed them – fresh or frozen – in recipes, baked goods and refreshing drinks.
Here’s a timeline of National Blueberry Month:
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass a joint resolution recognizing July as “Blueberry Month.”
The USDA further establishes blueberries’ place on the calendar, proclaiming July “National Blueberry Month” to “promote the greater appreciation and use of highbush blueberries.” USDA also shouted out blueberries’ nutrition benefits – “low in calories and fat, and a good source of fiber.”
The role of blueberries in Americans’ lives is reaffirmed when the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass a joint resolution designating July “National Blueberry Month.” The resolution recognized “the importance of the blueberry industry to the United States,” including the many contributions of growers and their families.
You can help celebrate and spread the word about National Blueberry Month this July by displaying the National Blueberry Month image on your website and social media channels! Plus, check-out USHBC’s National Blueberry Month toolkit for additional resources.