Florida blueberries

The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has announced the launch of a new programme to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry.

The programme will accept up to ten professionals from across the supply chain to become the first fellows in the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program.

The first of its kind in the blueberry industry, the programme is designed to help fellows grow their leadership skill set, learn from decades-long industry leaders and develop their network of connections.

Professional development within the industry is seen as a priority as members of the blueberry industry aim to make blueberries the number one berry in sales volume and premium value.

“Our vision for the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program is to engage rising leaders in the blueberry industry and equip them with the tools they need to take an active role in working toward USHBC’s bold goal of making blueberries the world’s favourite fruit,” said Amanda Griffin, USHBC vice-president of engagement and education, and lead facilitator of the new programme.

“The people who are blueberry industry leaders today got where they are through learning, collaboration and a drive to grow and innovate,' she explained. 'We believe this programme will open doors and bridge connections for people who share the same passion as our current leadership about the success of the blueberry industry.”

The leadership programme will kick off later this spring and continue through next year, taking an interactive approach to leadership development through hands-on training, immersive learning experiences, engagement with key industry players and exposure to the many components of the produce supply chain.

USHBC said it was seeking applicants who were up-and-coming leaders, hold a mid-level management position and had a minimum of five years experience in agriculture, with preference given to those who have worked in the blueberry industry.