United Blueberry Task Force


What is the United Blueberry Task Force?

The United Blueberry Task Force (UBTF) was established in May of 2021 by North American Blueberry Council (NABC) Chair Ken Patterson to facilitate cross-industry, solution-focused conversations regarding current and future issues and opportunities that impact the continued growth of the domestic and global blueberry industry.

The globally representative industry leaders that comprise the UBTF are tasked with determining the best strategies for sourcing and allocating industry funds and resources that can most effectively address industry-wide issues and opportunities, ensuring success for all blueberry industry stakeholders for years to come.

Task Force Principles

A set of principles were created when the UBTF was established to keep us focused on the future:

Move past the 201 investigation and focus on the future opportunities and possibilities.
Work together to inspire solutions that solve the most important problems while uniting a cohesive industry.
Avoid rehashing the past.
Adjust USHBC and NABC plans and programs to better position the industry moving ahead.
Build new programs that address as many issues as possible that caused the 201 to happen.

NABC United Blueberry Task Force Members

The UBTF is comprised of industry leaders from every major domestic and international blueberry growing region.

These task force members set a new benchmark for global cooperation in developing and guiding initiatives that will support and strengthen domestic and global blueberry markets.

Grower States

California – Bill Steed

Florida – Brittany Lee

Georgia – Michael Railey

Michigan – Tom Bodtke

New Jersey – Art Galletta

North Carolina – Neil Moore

Oregon – Hugh Eisele

Washington – Bryan Sakuma

Country Representatives

Canada – Jack Bates, BC Blueberry Council

Chile – Felipe Silva, Chilean Blueberry Committee

Mexico – Jose Bustamante, Anneberries

Peru – Daniel Bustamante, ProArandanos

Industry Stakeholders

Agriculture Capital – Tom Avinelis, CEO

Agroberries – Jorge Andres Varela, President

California Giant Berry Farms – Joe Barsi, President

Camposol – Jose Antonio Gomez, Managing Director

Driscoll’s – Soren Bjorn, President

Family Tree Farms – David Jackson, Owner/Farmer

Hortifrut – Juan Ignacio Allende, CEO

Naturipe – Brian Bocock, VP of Product Management

North Bay Produce – Nick Osmulski, President

Reiter Affiliated Companies – Hector Lujan, President & CEO

Silver Valley Farms – Ray Biln, General Manager

Wish Farms – JC Clinard, COO

Our Priorities

To ensure a brighter outlook for our industry, it is imperative that we focus on future opportunities and possibilities that expand the demand for blueberries across grocery, foodservice, export and food ingredient channels. 

By working together, the UBTF will inspire solutions that solve the industry’s most important problems while uniting us under a singular purpose: to grow blueberry demand and consumption across sales channels, ensuring future growth in both the volume and value of the blueberry category.

UBTF Priorities

Increased Promotions and Marketing

Build better marketing programs in particular based on market segmentation including those health driven and by micro-markets.

Improved Data and Insights

Create world-class industry database on supply, demand, historical price and inventory.

Industry Advocacy

Significantly raise the profile of the blueberry industry in Washington D.C., breakdown trade barriers and improve delivery to help drive global demand.

Memorandum of Understanding

The UBTF developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that guides cross-industry incremental funding to support fresh and processed blueberry demand driving activities across multiple channels. The MOU creates a framework for:

  • Volunteering contributions of $18/ton from importers of record
  • Requiring the majority of imported production to participate
  • Establishing an Importers Advisory Council at the NABC

This unified incremental effort, guided by a collective of U.S. growers, U.S. marketers and importers, will source the incremental funds necessary to increase the effectiveness of the blueberry checkoff as a catalyst for future growth of domestic and global demand.

Current MOU Commitments

As the NABC, we play a unique role in offering the only global summit table where domestic and international blueberry industry leadership can gather to discuss opportunities, issues and solutions related to the growth of the US and global blueberry markets.

Get Involved