Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it intends to buy up to $16 million worth of wild blueberries for federal food programs, a move that was requested by the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission. Congressman Mike Michaud weighed in with USDA and urged them to make a timely decision on the request.
"Our wild blueberry growers and producers not only provide a nutritious and quality product, but they are critical to the health of our state's economy," said Michaud. "This USDA purchase is a win-win that will help address the needs of the industry as well as our nation's food programs."
According to the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission, the USDA purchase request was made to help the industry address an oversupply situation as a result of a large crop of Maine wild blueberries also impacted by a growing supply of frozen cultivated blueberries.
According to the USDA, this purchase of wild blueberries will support federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases also help to stabilize prices in agricultural commodity markets by balancing supply and demand.