What is It?
The National Berry Crops Initiative (NBCI) is a partnership of industry, academia and government formed to develop a strategic plan for the continued growth and sustainability of berry crop production in the United States. Berry crops include, but are not limited to: strawberry, brambles (raspberry, blackberry, others), blueberry, cranberry and Ribes (currant and gooseberry). A steering committee was assembled in Spring 2005 to draft the strategic plan that could be presented nationally to farmers, academia and state and federal agencies for their consideration, suggestions, and approval.
Who is developing it?
Supporting Organizations include Grower groups: The California Strawberry Commission, Florida Strawberry Growers Association, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, North American Bramble Growers Association, North American Blueberry Council, North American Strawberry Growers Association, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission, Oregon Strawberry Commission, Washington Red Raspberry Commission, Wild Blueberry Commission Extension and Research Groups: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Michigan State University Agricultural Experiment Station, North Carolina State University Horticultural. Crops Research Station
Why do this?
By joining together we can speak more effectively regarding national issues that effect us all locally, such as the upcoming 2007 Farm Bill before congress. We can also more effectively coordinate and enhance berry crops research and extension efforts.
To enhance the health and sustainability of the American berry crop industries. Vision Statement/Goal: Consumption of berry crops provided by the American berry crop industry will triple by 2020. As a result, the American berry crop industry will be viewed as a model of agricultural efficiency, sustainability and prosperity. Berry crop consumption will result in improved human health and nutrition and prosperity for rural and agricultural communities.
Integrity – of the products, of information, of the members; Interdependence – capitalizing on common interests and opportunities; Working Collectively – achieving common goals as a unified voice; what NBCI can do better than an individual industry working on its own; building trust; Stewardship/Sustainability – environmental, economic, social; Respect – internally and externally; Leadership – for berry crops in particular and for Specialty Crops as a whole.
How to learn more and get involved: Go to www.nationalberrycrops.org to view the draft plan and see who is on the steering committee.