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STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine employs a strategic planning cycle to guide our work.

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Long Term Priorities

  • Improve the level and consistency of profitability across scales of production.

  • Increase the consistency of wild blueberry supply.

  • Grow the number of Maine wild blueberry farms and businesses.

  • Build capacity for wild blueberry research and Extension at the University of Maine.

  • Support strategic wild blueberry promotion, health research, and market development to grow demand and loyalty.

2024 Priorities

  • Help address labor and workforce housing challenges.

  • Facilitate the dissemination of food safety guidance and educate federal regulators about wild blueberry production practices.

  • Create opportunities for producers to secure business capital through grants.

  • Advocate for state and federal policies, opportunities, and regulations that support our industry.

  • Support and foster research, innovation, economic tools, and opportunities that aid climate change adaptation, reduce supply inconsistencies, support cost-efficiencies, and address business and infrastructure challenges.

  • Reassess investments in promotion, health research, and marketing to maximize cost-effectiveness, while continuing to differentiate wild from ordinary blueberries based upon wild blueberries superior taste, health benefits, and Maine provenance.

  • Educate the industry about the types, use, and application of grower and processor contracts in US agriculture.

  • Help reduce economic pressure on growers by seeking a one-year hiatus from the grower portion of the wild blueberry tax.

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Profitability Barriers

  • Lack of price stability and predictability prevents investments in fields and equipment

  • Increasing competition from the cultivated industry (inclusive of fresh, frozen, US, and import) 

  • Lack of profitability discourages generational transfer and contributes to the loss of farms and  businesses 

  • Climate change and its influence on the consistency of supply 

  • Buyer’s substitutability between cultivated and wild blueberries, and between Maine and  Canadian wild blueberries 

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