The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has adopted a corporate social responsibility statement (CSR) and code of ethics for use by blueberry industry members and for sharing with their customers. Developed by the USHBC Good Management Practices Committee and approved by the Council at its recent meeting, the CSR and code of ethics provide key goals and values shared by the blueberry industry, and read as follows:
“Rely on Blueberries” – the Corporate Social Responsibility Statement
Members of USHBC believe in several core values related to the responsible stewardship of the resources with which we are entrusted. In order to fulfill our responsibilities in accordance with these values, we will:
- Promote sustainable practices in agriculture, balancing the needs of consumers with the needs of the land and the industry.
- Contribute to an important agricultural economy that must be self-supporting and profitable.
- Recognize the interdependence of our growing, handling, and marketing activities with customers, regulators, neighbors, suppliers, employees, and others who support and permit our work.
- Enjoy and foster diversity in all its positive forms, from the crops we grow to the membership in our blueberry community.
- Encourage the sharing of information to provide participants in the industry and our consumers the knowledge they need to make good choices about all aspects of their enjoyment of blueberries.
- Embrace the challenge of promoting the goodness of blueberries to all corners of the earth and to be the impetus that contributes to the health and well-being of consumers and creates opportunity for fellow industry members.
The USHBC Code of Ethics
As members of USHBC, we acknowledge our responsibility to our industry, its customers, the Council and our fellow humans to exhibit the highest standards of business conduct. We pledge to:
- Be committed to adherence to laws, practices, and regulations that apply to the areas where we conduct business.
- At a minimum, follow the standards and practices required by law and regulation for growing, harvesting, processing, and handling blueberries for the protection and health of our employees and those who eat our great product.
- Encourage that hours worked each day, and days worked each week, shall not exceed legal limitations, that unsafe workplace practices not be tolerated, and that employees be trained in safe practices.
- Provide impartial and unprejudiced treatment to employees in all sectors of the industry.
- Conduct all our business practices with honesty, fair dealing, and in conformance with high ethical standards, and use only legal and ethical means in all business activities following all applicable laws and operating in ways that encourage trust among our members, their customers, and other stakeholders.
- Provide the means to help our industry grow in socially appropriate and ecologically responsible ways throughout the entire supply chain.
- Be strongly committed to the strict adherence to all environmental rules, regulations, and standards that are imposed by local, state, and national government authorities.
- Hold one another to the highest levels of integrity and be a good corporate citizen in every community and locality where we grow. Encourage blueberry growers to become involved in the life of their communities by participating in and sponsoring activities that result in community betterment.
- Collaborate with industry members, researchers, and others to benefit the responsible growth of the blueberry industry.
- Be honest and fair in our promotion of blueberries and scrupulously accurate in our representation of the benefits of eating blueberries.
- Support our Council, and the industry at large, by debating, crafting, and promoting changes that will create opportunity for involvement in the industry.
- Educate members about good management practices that contribute to further development of the industry’s growing, handling, marketing, health, safety, public education, and other important disciplines.