US – Folsom, CA, Brian Bocock, currently serving as the vice president of product management at Naturipe Farms, has been appointed as the new chair of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) Promotion Committee.

Bocock succeeds Jeff Malensky, president of Oregon Berry Packing in Hillsboro, Oregon, who held the position for the past three years.

Bringing a wealth of experience to his new role, Bocock has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Promotion Committee.

In his statement, he emphasized the significance of USHBC’s role in supporting various stakeholders in the blueberry industry, including growers, handlers, marketers, importers, and processors.

Bocock expressed enthusiasm about steering the future success of blueberries alongside his committee colleagues, particularly highlighting the increasing importance of marketing efforts considering the industry’s expanding production.

“The council’s work in marketing is only going to become more important over the next few years as we see a significant increase in production that will need to be moved,” said Brian Bocock.

“I’m excited to be driving the future success of blueberries with my fellow committee members and believe there is strong potential with the market opportunities ahead.”

USHBC Board Chair Shelly Hartmann praised Bocock’s background, passion, and forward-thinking approach regarding the potential of blueberries.

Hartmann expressed optimism about the future of blueberries, aiming to make them a staple among consumers worldwide.

The blueberry industry has experienced notable growth in recent years, with retail sales surging by 11.1% from 2021 to 2023, indicative of a rising consumer preference for this nutritious fruit.

However, this surge in demand has also led to record-high prices, prompting producers to navigate challenges associated with increased input costs.

Despite these challenges, the industry is adapting by focusing on enhancing efficiency, improving quality, and introducing new varieties with superior flavor profiles and extended shelf life.

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC), a nonprofit organization, plays a crucial role in supporting the blueberry industry both domestically and internationally.

Their mission revolves around bolstering consumer demand for blueberries by fostering collaboration among industry stakeholders through research, promotional activities, and providing resources aimed at enhancing their competitiveness in the global market.

In his remarks, Bocock’s emphasis on collaboration, innovation, and adaptation underscores the industry’s commitment to meeting evolving consumer preferences and market dynamics.

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