Executive Director's Letter: Showcasing Florida’s Blueberry Industry

It is harvest season 2022, and we have already had quite a packed spring in Florida!

March has been a great month to showcase the Florida Blueberry industry, starting with the joint meeting of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and North American Blueberry Council in Tampa.

The conference featured panel discussions focused on how our industry can drive more volume through foodservice and food manufacturing channels. This was followed by a food demonstration showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at USHBC’s foodservice-innovation process.  

Dr. Patricio Munoz participated in the Flavor Time session with several other industry leaders to discuss the UF/IFAS blueberry breeding and genomics lab and how the industry is driving future consumption through flavor innovation. 

Attendees were able to see three top operations, visiting Astin Farms, Wish Farms, and Frogmore Fresh.  

The week ended with committee meetings that were focused on the 2021-2025 strategic plan and the programs USHBC is working on in the coming years.

In addition to the USHBC/NABC Farm tour, Doug Phillips and Munoz hosted a Field Day touring A&A Farms in Arcadia and Frogmore Fresh in Dade City.

The tour highlighted several UF/IFAS Stage 3 and Stage 4 selections, as well as other varieties that are commonly grown in each area and the UF Mechanical Harvesting trial selections at Frogmore.

Florida continues to be the cornerstone of the domestic market, and we have been able to showcase the progressive measures our state industry and growers have been taking to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace!

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