- The blueberry industry participates in what is called USDA Foods which is a system where good-for-you ingredients such as blueberries are purchased by the USDA and distributed to individual states such as California.
- School districts can receive these blueberries through the state and can use integrate frozen blueberries into items served in the schools. Amazing what these school districts can do with frozen blueberries. A number are making smoothies, yogurt parfaits and muffins
- (Photo above = Action at USHBC booth).
- A relatively new option for larger districts is to source finished goods from what is called the Commodity Processing channel. USHBC is a member and participant in an organization called the American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA). Large school districts can "divert" shipments of ingredients such as frozen blueberries to approved commodity processors who are either specialized bakeries, dairy, snack and other category companies. Also, some of the leading major multinational companies operate commodity processing activities to take advantage of their processing capacity to serve the schools. The concept: companies sell the finished products back to the schools minus the cost of the ingredients and this results in great cost saving for the schools.
- A brand new concept is the sourcing of fresh produce into the school systems. The product is sourced through the Department of Defense channels (DOD).School districts and individual schools are also sourcing produce including blueberries from local growers and farmers markets.
What better way to introduce our future customers to blueberries!