While blueberry farmers and industry leaders were disappointed and disheartened with Thursday’s vote by the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Blueberry Coalition for Progress and Health responded with applause for the ITC.
The group issued a statement following the ITC’s unanimous vote in which it deemed that imports of fresh, chilled or frozen blueberries are not a serious injury to the domestic industry, ending the Section 201 investigation.
“The Blueberry Coalition for Progress and Health applauds the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) determination that imported blueberries have not injured the domestic industry. The U.S. blueberry industry is healthy and thriving.
“Together with imports, the U.S. industry is working hard to keep up with the year-round and growing marketplace demand for this healthy and nutritious fruit. U.S. per capita consumption of blueberries has experienced a more than 300% since 2005 and is now at an all-time high of 1.79 pounds per person.
“Restricting blueberry imports into the U.S. would have limited consumers’ access to these healthy, delicious and nutritional berries with no benefit to U.S. producers.
“We look forward to continuing to provide the American market with our healthy and delicious fruit.”
The verdict was rendered in the coalition’s favor despite overwhelming evidence by the American Blueberry Growers Alliance against imports.