The Evolution of the Blueberry Industry with Mark Hurst

In 1980, Mark Hurst purchased a modest farm with 3.5 acres of raspberries, loganberries and boysenberries in Sheridan, Oregon. Since planting his first blueberries in 1982, Hurst’s company has grown exponentially, becoming a leading fresh berry shipper worldwide from farms in Oregon, California, Chile, Canada, Washington and Mexico. In this episode, we have a conversation with Hurst about where the blueberry industry has been and where it’s going.

Host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by Mark Hurst of Hurst’s Berry Farm and HBF International.

“I think we’ve got to really make sure that is our focus: that we are unified as an industry.” – Mark Hurst

HBF International was started in 2011 to mark the growth of Hurst’s Berry Farm into a renowned brand. Today, Hurst splits his time between his farm and the day-to-day operation of HBF International. HBF is trusted across the globe as a year-round source for fresh berries.

This episode features a conversation with Hurst about his decades of experience in the blueberry industry. Topics include: 

  • The Hurst family’s modest beginnings.
  • Benefits of being in the blueberry industry.
  • Establishing USHBC and how it grew the category.
  • Maintaining growth in the blueberry industry.
  • Changes in blueberry genetics.
  • What it will take to launch the next blue wave.

Crop Report – September 16, 2020 

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Jason Smith in British Columbia, Rex Schultz in Michigan, Doug Krahmer in Oregon and Luis Vegas in Peru. This was recorded on September 16, 2020.