Blueberry Imports Crucial to U.S. Consumers, Growers and Economy
The Blueberry Coalition for Progress & Health is a broad cross-section of the U.S. blueberry industry – including domestic growers and shippers as well as importers and retailers – formed to oppose limitations on blueberry imports, including the recently initiated Section 201 investigation on blueberries. The U.S. blueberry market is thriving, and our goal is to ensure we fairly meet the marketplace demand for this healthy and delicious fruit.
Consumers Demand Blueberries
U.S. consumption of blueberries is at an all-time high of 1.79 pounds per person, a more than 300% increase in per capita consumption since 2005. Restricting blueberry imports into the U.S. will limit consumers’ access to these healthy, delicious and nutritional berries. Domestic growers cannot alone meet the rapidly growing U.S. consumer demand for a year-round supply of this healthy “super fruit”. Imports are crucial both to meet current demand and to continue to grow the market for the benefit of all growers, here and abroad.
With more than 75% of Americans consuming a poor diet and with increases in obesity and a decline in overall good health, we must support continued growth and supply of healthy produce to all communities.
Imported Blueberries Support the U.S. Economy
While there have been increases of blueberry imports, the domestic production value of blueberries within the U.S. has expanded as well. Imports enter the United States predominantly in September through March, with very little overlap with the U.S. harvest during the spring and summer. Moreover, imported blueberries are typically priced higher than domestic blueberries, so that U.S. blueberry prices increase when imports increase and decrease when imports decrease. A safeguard action would only hurt U.S. consumers by increasing the price of imports and decreasing the supply of blueberries without providing any real benefit to the domestic industry, which cannot replace imports.
In addition, reduced imports would disrupt downstream blueberry distribution supply chains, jeopardizing well-paying U.S. jobs.