Florida blueberries

The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has announced details around its recently approved 2021-2025 strategic plan, which charts a course to exponentially grow the volume and value of blueberries domestically and across the globe.

The plan explains how USHBC will lead demand-driving programmes based on shared resources, research and insights that 'inspire possibilities and sustain the profitable growth of the blueberry industry' – ultimately aiming to unite industry stakeholders to work together toward making blueberries 'the world’s favourite fruit'.

USHBC said that it collected approximately US$10m in assessment dollars from growers and importers of record annually, and the strategic plan addressed how the council would invest that funding to fuel increased blueberry demand and consumption.

The plan covers expanded, measurable programmatic goals and tactics for five strategic pillars, USHBC outlined.

These include integrated marketing communications, health and nutrition, industry services, global business development, and innovation and technology.

The health and nutrition pillar will be driven by USHBC’s newly hired first-ever senior director of nutrition and health research, Leslie Wada.

“Our 2021-2025 strategic plan is the culmination of more input from blueberry industry leaders and strategic partners than ever before, discussed and distilled for over the better part of a year, to create a bold blueprint to boost blueberries worldwide,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of USHBC.

“Our intent is that this plan and its guiding vision will positively impact the future beyond the next five years to hopefully the next decade or two of the blueberry industry.”

USHBC embarked on the strategic plan development in partnership with Rockland Dutton Research & Consulting, drawing on experience working with the National Mango Board, World Bank, Beef Checkoff, Hass Avocado Board and more.

“We’ve come a long way as a blueberry industry since the USHBC was established 20 years ago, and our exciting, forward-looking vision sets the stage for the next era of growth,” said Shelly Hartmann, chair of USHBC. “I’m proud to have a leading role as we begin to execute our new, unifying strategy to increase demand for blueberries, while strengthening and supporting our growers and stakeholders.”

Click here to view the strategic plan in full