Nov 1, 2019
USHBC appoints three to serve on committees

U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has appointed three influential leaders with decades of experience in the blueberry industry to its committees.

Appointed to the USHBC Promotion Committee are John Johnston, senior director of blueberry product leadership for Driscoll’s, and Amanda Steele, chief marketing officer for Agriculture Capital.  

Ellie Norris, owner of Norris Blueberry Farms in Oregon, was appointed to the USHBC Export Subcommittee.

“We’re grateful for the expertise John, Amanda and Ellie bring to our committees and for their willingness to volunteer their time to move the blueberry industry forward,” said USHBC President Kasey Cronquist. 

The Promotion Committee is charged with driving consumer demand and promoting the health benefits of blueberries. The committee, chaired by Bob Carini of Carini Farms in Michigan, will meet in Dallas in November to review new agency proposals for USHBC’s food service program and finalize marketing and promotion tactics for 2020.  

“Driscoll’s has found that flavor differentiation and health benefits are key factors driving the increased consumer demand for fresh blueberries,” Johnston said. “I look forward to serving on the USHBC Promotion Committee to help drive continued growth of the blueberry industry.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with the USHBC Promotion Committee to continue the great work the industry is doing to drive blueberry demand. With over 20 years of food marketing and management experience, I’ve seen the transformation in food as consumers increasingly demand better, healthier, real foods. It’s no wonder that blueberries are the fastest growing fresh fruit as they meet consumer needs for great taste, health and convenience,” Steele said. “I look forward to learning from the industry and contributing my ‘consumer first’ point of view to the Promotion Committee.”

The Export Subcommittee’s responsibilities include opening new foreign markets and marketing U.S. highbush blueberries around the world. The majority of the Export Subcommittee’s annual budget is funded by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Trade Programs.

“Developing export markets is a top priority for the U.S. highbush blueberry industry and I look forward to working with fellow blueberry growers and marketers on the USHBC Export Subcommittee to develop strategic programs that will move us forward,” Norris said. 

In 2020, USHBC will use USDA FAS Market Access Program (MAP) and Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding to conduct targeted promotions (including retail and food service partnerships, and media campaigns) in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In Southeast Asia, where blueberry consumption is rapidly growing, USHBC aims to increase the U.S.’ market share, especially in countries like the Philippines and Vietnam where fresh market access is new or pending. 

USHBC is an agriculture promotion and research group made up of blueberry farmers, processors and importers who work together to research, innovate and promote the growth and well-being of the blueberry industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides independent oversight of the organization.



Current Issue

Kansas peach grower puts focus on high-density output

FGN’s 60th Anniversary: Tree fruit rootstocks evolve over decades

Pear rootstocks for replant in presence of armillaria

Cover crops show effects on iron deficiency in pear

USHBC recognizes grower Tom Bodtke, other blueberry industry leaders

Technology highlights at IFTA show commercial potential

Autonomous sprayer available for orchards

Hybrid use puts Regev in ‘game-changer’ mode

Farm Market column: ‘Delighting’ the online customer ideal marketers’ goal

Notes from the Farm column: Taking out an old tree while navigating credit card scams

National Council of Agricultural Employers column: Through good times and bad, neighbors help each other

see all current issue »

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


Get one year of Fruit Growers News in both print and digital editions for only $15.50.

Interested in reading the print edition of Fruit Growers News?

Subscribe Today »

Be sure to check out our sister sites:
website development by deyo designs