British Columbia Blueberry Council

The mission of the British Columbia Blueberry Council is to enhance the viability and strategic development of the blueberry industry for the benefit of the growers through promotion, research, industry education and relationship building.

British Columbia has over 800 blueberry growers who are represented by an umbrella organization, the BC Blueberry Council. Our growers are proud to produce high quality highbush blueberries that are enjoyed in Canada and worldwide.

Currently there are close to 8,100 hectares (20,000 acres) of the richest fertile farmland nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains devoted to growing almost 40 million KG (89 million pounds) with production increasing steadily. This makes British Columbia the number one highbush blueberry-growing region in the world, with Canada the third top producing country, and still growing.

Delicious BC Blueberries can be bought fresh in July through until the beginning of October, and are available frozen year-round

Blueberries have been grown in British Columbia for nearly a century. The Johnston brothers, originally from Nova Scotia, planted native highbush seedlings on the peat bogs of Lulu Island as an experiment in the early 1920’s.

During the 1930s, farmers began to import named varieties from New Jersey in order to extend the bearing season and create a more marketable berry. Production expanded as more growers began to plant fields and farms sprang up in the neighboring municipality of Pitt Meadows.

In 1953, the industry formed a Co-op to facilitate fresh blueberry sales. Among the primary marketing goals was to increase the sale of fresh berries. Increased product visibility in stores, along with radio ads and promotional material helped to accomplish this goal. Previously, blueberries were sold from small, on-farm stalls, but this determined group forced its product onto supermarkets shelves. In the 1970s, the price of fresh berries overtook the price of frozen and the key product that determined pricing alternated from processed to unprocessed fruit.

Having captured the western Canadian market, the Co-op began exporting to the United States and Asia, under the name of “Lullabelle.”

The industry has experienced a dramatic growth spurt over the last decade because of the public’s new health consciousness. The interest in blueberries began in 1998 when the cranberry industry funded Howell and Nicholi to research urinary tract infections. Blueberries were used as a comparison and their high score surprised many individuals.

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