The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will buy up to $10 million in surplus frozen Maine wild blueberries.
Nancy McBrady, executive director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, said the surplus is the result of rather large crops in Maine and Canada over the last three years. She said there has also been a very large supply of cultivated high bush blueberries.
“There are a lot of blueberries on the market, which have unfortunately lessened the prices for everyone, including wild blueberry growers here in the state,” she said.
McBrady said wild blueberry processors in Maine will bid on the opportunity to supply berries to USDA. She said the purchase will help the industry in a couple of ways: not only will it reduce inventory and make room for the upcoming harvest in August, it also gets the word out that Maine can supply large quantities of blueberries to those who might want to manufacture new blueberry products.
The surplus blueberries will be distributed to food banks and other charitable institutions.