January 30, 2019
Blueberry growers across North America face significant headwinds, according to a key speaker at the Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford on January 26.
“I can’t make the numbers work to give you a bright future,” said John Shelford, an observer of industry trends and strategic advisor to Naturipe Farms LLC.
The comment reflected number-crunching that yielded some key figures BC growers who want to survive need to keep in mind.
First, while total fresh blueberry production in North America totalled 786 million pounds in 2016 before dropping in 2017 and 2018, it’s on track for 586 million pounds in 2019 and will continue to rise as new plantings come into production.
But growth in fresh consumption has come entirely from imported product, Shelford said.
With projections of 2% annual growth in total blueberry consumption in the coming years, and half of that claimed by imports, North America only needs to produce an extra 12 million pounds each year.
With several producers in BC under pressure and little room to raise prices with consumers, Shelford said growers have two options: cut costs, and boost quality.
“You want people to buy blueberries? Deliver them flavour,” he said.
Vol. 105 Issue 4
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
One province, one panel
Groundwater deadline extended
Happy as a pig!
Sidebar: Still waiting
Feds pour millions into tree fruit research
Sidebar: Will local procurement help?>
Editorial: Confined spaces
Back Forty: BC farmers need more than a land bank
Island Good campaign drives local sales
Poultry industry seeks to stop infighting
Egg farmers to receive biggest quota boost ever
New entrant focus
Decision day looms for chicken pricing appeal
Producers look to CanadaGAP for certification
Organic sector undertakes core review
Hopping to it!
Island couple named Outstanding Young Farmers
Turkey consumption continues to decline
BC potato growers enjoy a strong footing
Sudden tree fruit dieback a growing concern
Late season BC cherries in global demand
Farmers’ markets aim to be local food hubs
Field trial hopes to reduce phosphorus levels
Future looking bright for BC dairy producers
BC could benefit from US trade battles
Saputo puts its Courtenay plant out to pasture
The land of milk and salmon
Sidebar: Farming for the future
Out of the hands of BC farmers
Codes of practice need producer input
Preparation essential for wildfire response
Sidebar: Relief announced for drought, fire
Sidebar: Be FireSmart with these tips
New traceability regs to track movement
Agriculture a notable threat to species at risk
Improper pesticide use threatens access
Threat to neonics spurs scare in spud growers
Orchard presses forward with diversification
Staying on top of soil health is key to sound farming
No small potatoes
Farm families need to have affairs in order
Rotary parlours go upscale at two FV dairies
Study compares organic, conventional diets
Advisory service foresees growing demand
Sidebar: Tree fruit cutbacks a concern
Island dairy producers hone first aid skills
Woodshed: And that’s how rumours get their teeth
Research farm showcases small projects
Jude’s Kitchen: Shooting stars of spring