FOLSOM, Calif., May 22, 2023 — The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) today launched the BerrySmart Insights platform for fresh blueberries, an automated, voluntary production and historical price database that more accurately measures production, inventory and pricing, with a weekly report on supply, demand, inventory and shipments. A key strategy in USHBC’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, industry access to data and insights through this platform will help growers and marketers become more efficient, resilient and innovative, leading to continued blueberry industry growth.
“The launch of our world-class data platform highlights USHBC’s commitment to bring added value to blueberry industry stakeholders,” said Joe Vargas, USHBC director of business intelligence. “Our vision for BerrySmart Insights is to innovate and revolutionize the industry by leveraging more comprehensive and timely market data to drive profitability and growth for blueberries.”
The BerrySmart Insights Fresh platform, which , which provides new, expanded access to deeper data and insights, i,s exclusive to marketers and growers who have committed their participation and contribution of data, and whose leadership and support were critical in the development and launch of the full platform:
- Berry Fresh
- California Giant Berry Farms
- Family Tree Farms
- H&A Farms
- North Bay Produce
- Wish Farms
Vargas joined USHBC and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) last year with the primary directive to improve data quality and increase data literacy in the blueberry industry. In a little over a year, he has made strides in bringing together resources and personnel needed to create a comprehensive data and insights program that helps large and small blueberry operations improve their day-to-day decision–making.
Vargas led the design and build process for the Berry Insights Fresh platform by working closely with a collective of growers, marketers and importers who committed to the NABC’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to volunteer incremental funding toward the BerrySmart Insights fresh platform. Under his leadership, this group selected Bytecode IO, a full stack data consulting company, as USHBC’s partner to develop the BerrySmart Insights platform.
Moving forward, USHBC is working to enhance the comprehensiveness and utility of the platform by recruiting new contributors and users. With Vargas’ assistance, Agrovision, Camposol and Giddings are currently in the process of transitioning their data systems to align with and maximize the utility of the BerrySmarts Insights Fresh platform. A platform for the processed blueberry market is also underway.
“Thanks to Joe’s leadership and the enthusiastic participation of several key stakeholders, we’ve made tremendous progress in building out a comprehensive data and insights program to support the blueberry industry,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC/NABC. “Our ultimate vision is to make blueberries the world’s favorite fruit, and equipping our stakeholders with best-in-class business intelligence tools will ensure we all work together to make smart decisions and compete in the global marketplace.”
Blueberry industry stakeholders who want to learn more or indicate their interest in participating in the fresh program should reach out to Vargas at [email protected].
Director of Communications
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About the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Established in 2000, The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is a federal agriculture research and promotion program with independent oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USHBC represents blueberry growers and packers in North and South America who market their blueberries in the United States and overseas, and works to promote the growth and well-being of the entire blueberry industry. USHBC was established by blueberry growers and currently has 2,500 growers, packers and importers. USHBC is committed to providing blueberries that are grown, harvested, packed and shipped in clean, safe environments. Learn more at ushbc.org.