An organized and unified coalition is now established by U.S. blueberry growers, including California, Florida, Georgiaand Michigan.
On December 16, 2020, the group stated its advocacy for the long-term viability of the domestic blueberry industry. It will provide data and support to an ongoing U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation into serious injury caused by increased imports of fresh, chilled and frozen blueberries under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974.
According to the group, imports rose by more than 60 per cent between 2015 and 2019. Imports from Peru, for example, have surged by 1,258 per cent. Imports from Mexico have increased by 268 per cent during the same period.
The group’s website also cites Canadian imports. “Blueberry imports have surged from a number of countries, especially Chile, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, and Canada, rising nearly 62 per cent from 423 million pounds in 2015 to 684 million pounds in 2019.”
"Many family farms have become a casualty of rising imports and are being forced out of commercial production as other countries increase production to deliberately target the U.S. market," said Brittany Lee, executive director of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association. "If something is not done, we will lose the blueberry industry in the United States."
The ITC plans to hold hearings in early 2021 and then deliver a report on blueberry injury and remedies to the White House. Under Section 203, the President then determines what action to take. To support this investigation, Alliance members are providing data and evidence on how blueberry imports are impacting their production, pricing and marketing activities, especially during the critical U.S. spring and summer harvesting seasons.
For more detail, link here: americanblueberrygrowers.com.
Source: PR Newswire December 16, 2020 news release