Mar 16, 2016
US, Peru establish binational blueberry council

Executives representing the blueberry industry in the United States and Peru announced the establishment of the U.S.-Peru Blueberry Council (USPBC) during USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s visit to Lima, Peru. The establishment of the binational council is the first of its kind for the blueberry category.

The council’s primary purposes will be to create and facilitate cooperation, trade and investment between both industries and to promote and obtain the necessary approvals to increase new market-access opportunities between both countries.

The council is comprised of U.S. and Peruvian blueberry growers, packers, exporters and importing companies, such as Naturipe and Driscoll’s of California; North Bay Produce of Michigan; Camposol, Talsa and ProArandano of Peru, to name a few. The USPBC named Brian Bocock, Naturipe’s vice president of product management, and Miguel Bentin, ProArandano president, as binational co-chairs.

The council will start its work by concentrating on mutually complementary strategies for increasing the consumption of blueberries and further enhance bilateral market-access of fresh blueberries and plants, according to a press release. For example, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and its Peruvian counterpart SENASA, are developing new ways of improving bilateral phytosanitary measures to improve the market access of Peruvian blueberries to the U.S. and U.S. plants to Peru.

The council’s first order of business will be to support the development of such phytosanitary initiatives at a bilateral level.

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