Contact: Brittany H. Lee, President, Florida Blueberry Growers Association, 352-505-8878
Brooksville, FL April 3, 2018 – The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) is predicting a good year for blueberries despite a recent grower survey showing significant crop damage. Last week FBGA asked its members to respond to a survey reporting any crop loss they are seeing in their fields. With a third of the state’s acreage responding, 95 percent reported some level of damage.
“This year our growers were faced with many issues that has led to statewide crop loss,” said Brittany Lee, President FBGA. “Pollination issues, gall midge, freeze damage, and Hurricane Irma – all affected our farms. Despite these issues, this will still be a productive year for Florida Blueberries.”
FBGA encouraged their growers to continue to revisit production projections and update marketers in addition to efforts the association is doing to ensure market stability for Florida’s growers. While current estimates are showing a reduced amount of Florida Blueberries entering the market compared to original projections, FBGA is positive about this year and the future of the Florida Blueberry Industry.
Lee said “Research from the University of Florida IFAS Center for Public Issues has shown that consumers prefer to purchase Florida blueberries. In Florida we grow a healthy and safe product. Our growers are vigilant about food safety and sustainability. We are experiencing a tremendous amount of production pressures from non-domestic producers, and as an association we are working to develop accurate forecasting models for next season. This lets marketers and retailers know when to expect our fruit and how much there will be. FBGA is proud to represent our grower members who harvest Fresh From Florida blueberries for our consumers at large.”
The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) is an organization devoted to advance the interest of the Florida Blueberry industry; to collect, preserve and circulate valuable and useful information relating to the business of growing and marketing of Florida Blueberries; to collate, distribute and publish such information; to promote economic and production research to improve the quality of products; to standardize grades; to promote betterment of markets; to promote integrity, good faith, goodwill and just and equitable principles of business in the industry; and to strive in all ways to promote the best interests of its members. FBGA represents approximately 500 members, which include growers, farm operation staff, allied professionals, research and education experts, as well as those interested in Florida blueberries.