FOLSOM, CALIF. —The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council will receive nearly twice the amount of 2022 Market Access Program (MAP) funding in 2022.

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has informed the council that it will receive $597,810, up from $299,195 in 2021 and $207,449 in 2020.

“This exponential funding increase in just two years demonstrates that our programs are working, and is a vote of confidence for the USHBC’s efforts from the USDA,” said Alicia Adler, USHBC vice president of global business development. “We’ve been extremely successful in choosing new markets for US highbush blueberries, particularly China and Southeast Asia, and the additional funding will allow us to continue to grow our program and develop additional new international markets.” 

USHBC will use the new MAP funds to expand promotions of fresh, frozen, dried and further processed blueberries in targeted export markets throughout Asia. Major markets of focus will include Japan, South Korea, China and Southeast Asia. 

The increased funding comes on the heels of other good news for USHBC, including a new strategic plan to lead the organization through 2025, and the passage of the 2021 referendum that allows the organization to continue its demand-driving work. The referendum was approved in late October, with 84% of producers and importers (representing 93% of the volume of highbush blueberries grown) voting in favor of continuing the program.