The Port of Hueneme has started a one-year pilot program to demonstrate the ability to complete the cold-treatment process of blueberries, the port announced earlier this month.
The Southern California port is known for receiving refrigerated produce but by handling the cold-treatment process on-port, the service lowers the cost of moving the blueberries, curbs a significant amount of greenhouse gases and 2.2 million vehicle miles traveled cross-country and helps California and Peruvian farmers, the port said.
“This new opportunity is not only a game changer for our blueberry partners, but also will help reduce air emissions across the U.S. and spur local job creation, a win-win-win,” said Oxnard Harbor District Board President Jess J. Ramirez. The blueberries will come from Peru’s Callao and Paita Ports through the port for West Coast consumers. “I would like to thank our partners at USDA, CDFA, and Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams for their collaboration and faith in our Port to bring this program to fruition,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director. “This new pilot program will enable blueberries to come directly to the West Coast from Peru during the growing off-season in the United States, benefiting consumers and local blueberry companies alike.”