Fresh Thoughts: Acknowledging Where We Are

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Fresh Thoughts: Acknowledging Where We Are

I was recently on the phone with one of our blueberry farmers discussing the current state of the industry. He was sharing just how frustrated and concerned he was with the current market conditions for his blueberry business. 

I agreed with his assessment and acknowledged that “global production is outpacing current consumption and consumer demand trends.”

His response: He appreciated hearing that we understood.

He didn’t think NABC or USHBC understood the situation or, worse yet, that the organizations didn’t want to acknowledge it. 

During this call, by just acknowledging that we understand we, as an industry, have a problem allowed us to move forward in our conversation to discuss the “now what?”

We go from here. 

It turned out to be a very productive call and we discussed a number of ways that NABC and USHBC are working with leadership and making changes, taking the necessary steps and adjusting our program work on behalf of our growers to address this current reality.

The phone call reminded me of Michael Goldsmith’s book “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There.” As the title suggests, change is a must. More importantly, Goldsmith shares that you can’t really get where you need to go next if you’ve lost your way or, even worse, you don’t know where you are to begin with.

The good news is that the blueberry industry, over many years, has wisely organized itself to be able to come together and address these challenges through leadership and resources. The two boards (NABC and USHBC) can meet, put a pin in the map on where we are today and set a course for where we need to go next to get through challenging times, focusing on taking the industry to the next level as the category collectively matures as part of the produce and berry industry. 

Acknowledging where you are is important because where we go and what we have to do next won’t look like what we did to get here. 

As we prepare for our March meetings, I welcome more phone calls, video conferences and chats with anyone who would like to help put a fine point on where we stand today. I have a number of presentations I’m planning to give in 2020 and your thoughts, feelings and input would certainly help me convey exactly where we are as an industry. 
You can schedule some time with me by clicking here: calendly.com/blueberrypresident/30min.

My best,