Growers make case for (and against) blueberry rate hike

05/29/2013 11:11:00 AM
Tom Karst

I think it is nothing short of outrageous that the USHBC wants to increase their theft of my fruit harvest by 50%. Have you viewed their yearly travel itinerary? They hold quarterly conventions in posh locations like Bar Harbor Maine, Miami Beach, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Francisco, California every two or three months. This behavior is hedonistic and I say heck no!!

 

One grower seemed to make peace with the idea, considering the sobering predictions of rising blueberry production. The growers pens:

 

I believe that the proposed assessment increase is justified as there is great need to continue to promote blueberries and to research the possible health benefits of increased consumption. The monies assessed in the past have been used wisely and with diligence, being mindful of the work required to earn every dollar the grower gets from producing a food safe fruit. Furthermore, the education aspect of encouraging good agricultural practices helps protect the public, the produce and the environment.

It should be noted that this assessment is not an undue burden on domestic producers as it is not only collected on domestic blueberries but also on all imported blueberries. As we struggle with a fragile economy and an era of uncertainty, I feel that it is more important than ever that the balance between the blueberry supply (current and future) and demand be maintained by increasing the awareness and desire for blueberries.

This comment is in support of increasing the assessment from the current $12 per ton to $18 per ton.

 

TK: In my view, growers who support the increase in the assessment will find allies in the trade. The more "buzz about berries" the easier it will be for retailers to move ever-larger crops.


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