Food & Hotel Vietnam Expo

This was the third and most successful Food & Hotel Vietnam participation for USHBC

Food Hotel Vietnam (FHV) is the big event for USHBC in Vietnam each year.  This year, Hana and her crew did a wonderful job organizing the USHBC stand.  Visitors were lined up to taste smoothies made on the spot!  In just two years, USHBC has developed a network of trade contacts that are now purchasing and distributing blueberries.  This includes, frozen, juice, dried and ingredient solutions.

Hana meets with visiting food processors

Here is the USHBC display at a USDA-FAS Sponsored Showcase. Another great opportunity to expand our commercial network.  Mandy Chen (on left) from Taiwan helps staff the booth!  This year — everyone is talking about Fresh Blueberries coming soon!


See you next year!


The Long March

Delegation visits California


A long journey for our visitors from China Customs.  But, a good one.  First we visited Blueberry Farms and Packing facilities in the Bakersfield area.  Temperatures were in the 100s!  Then to Orlando and up to Gainsville to see the Florida production.

California visit

Here are some photos below.  Want to thank the growers and packers in California and Florida who helped make this journey happen!    Also all of the experts who stepped up to share their tremendous knowledge.

Chinese Customs officials visit farms in California and Florida.

This was an important visit where Chinese officials visited and assessed the US blueberry fields as far as a potential item to be allowed into China.  (Currently, fresh blueberries are restricted).  Lots of documents and paperwork have been exchanged over the past years and having the Chinese officials in the country and in the field was a great step towards market access.


Mission Accomplished!    Almost!


GLIFT = Great Lakes IFT Meeting


Welcome to Battle Creek Michigan.  As the sign says this is the place where breakfast cereals are made.  It is the home of Kellogg’s and Post and others.  What brings the Blueberry Guy to Michigan this April: The annual Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Great Lakes Section Expo!  (GLIFT)

USHBC has been active in the IFT from the start.  We participate in the annual meeting, advertise in the publication read by members.  These are the product developers who are launching the hundreds of new products each year!

Welcome to my “office.”

While the managers attend the big shows in Chicago and Vegas — the workers attend the regional meetings.  This is a great time to set up an “office” at the event center next to the Kellogg’s world Research and Development Center in downtown Battle Creek.  We arrange informal meetings and drop ins from the different research laboratories stop by.  It is a great way to research the food industry and promote processed blueberries to the food industry.

Friends from Van Drunen Farms, big boosters of blueberries!

In my view, the most important activity at these events is to meet up with the sellers of blueberry ingredients.  These are the industrial food brokers who are continually in the field selling our blueberries.  They are important and we support in any way.  They are always happy to see the support and attendance of the USHBC FoodTech program.

The GLIFT run is also a great opportunity to meet up with growers and packers in the area!

See you next year!

Michigan Meets Myanmar

What a great opportunity after the GLIFT meeting to buzz up to Lansing to meet up with our good friend Entomologist Deluxe, Dr. Rufus Issacs of Michigan State University  (Middle person waving) .  Rufus will always drop whatever is doing to help with market access documents and foreign visitors.   Now on the far left is a special visitor: Dr. Yee from Myanmar who is on a study visit to MSU to see market access work first hand.   Of course we found the only Burmese restaurant in town and sat down for an enjoyable meeting and discussion.   The highlight of the evening was when Dr. Yee pulled out her smart phone and showed us a copy of the market access request from the US Blueberry Industry that she diligently reviewed and approved last year!  This has led to the first shipments of fresh US blueberries to Myanmar this season!   Thank you Dr. Yee and Myanmar!  Thank you Rufus and your crew at the MSU Entomology lab!