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National Blueberry Conference set for October

by Tad Thompson | July 11, 2010
The 2010 National Blueberry Conference & Expo is scheduled for Oct. 12-15 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel convention center in Grand Rapids, MI. This year's conference and expo is being held in conjunction with the North American Blueberry Council and the United States Highbush Blueberry Council meetings scheduled at the same location that week, according to the June 2010 USHBC newsletter.

Lorrie Ford Merker, director of grower and industry relations for MBG Marketing/The Blueberry People, which is headquartered in Grand Junction, MI, told The Produce News that MBG is holding its 74th annual meeting and its second National Blueberry Expo in conjunction with the NABC and USHBC meetings this year in October. MBG's first National Blueberry Expo was held five years ago.

Ms. Ford Merker said, "The expo is open to all who wish to attend. Interested folks can contact us at for more info on lodging, tickets and pricing. The USHBC meetings are open to all blueberry producers at no charge. The NABC events have a fee."

According to an industry information piece, the North American Blueberry Council serves as an industry voice and was established in 1965. The NABC is a voluntary blueberry association and is not affiliated with the U.S. Deparrtment of Agriculture. Its primary duties are to provide statistical and crop data, oversee an industry crisis response plan and be a legislative interface. The NABC may also provide food-safety and good management practices guidelines. However, no certification or inspection program is currently in place.

The USHBC was established in 2000 to be an industry educator. It functions under direction from the USDA as a mandatory national research and promotion program, The primary duties of USHBC are:

* Market development and promotion.

* Health research.

* Grower education and information.

* Implementation of an industry crisis response plan.

The NABC and USHBC share offices in Folsom, CA.