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About MBG Marketing

Our Story

MBG Marketing is a producer-owned berry growing and marketing cooperative formed in 1936 with member blueberry and blackberry growers now located in Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey and British Columbia. MBG is the largest grower-owned marketer of fresh highbush blueberries in the world, going to market for both its blueberries and blackberries in the globally recognized Naturipe ® brand, another producer-owned company owned by MBG and three grower partners. MBG Marketing is also a partner in MB Global Foods, an international frozen food business based in Montreal, Canada. MBG proudly owns and operates its own blueberry breeding program, Berry Blue, LLC, utilizing the largest base of blueberry plant genetics anywhere, to offer MBG’s growers and customers superior blueberry varieties that not only meet the discerning tastes of blueberry consumers, but provide growers with high-quality, high-yielding plants to grow farm profitability.

The cooperative’s business model of “operating at cost” affords MBG’s owner-members a competitive advantage in a continually expanding industry. Headquartered in Grand Junction, Michigan, MBG also has professional staff based in southeast Georgia and northwest Oregon, offering its grower-owners in all its growing regions unprecedented service and support in meeting the challenges of the 21st century food industry, making MBG the home for today’s enterprising blueberry and blackberry growers. An eleven-person Board of Directors, elected by and from MBG’s member-owners, represent our various membership areas and governs MBG in coordination with the leadership of Brad Moorer, Chief Executive Officer, and his staff.

Organization History

2000
Naturipe Farms
Naturipe Farms

MBG and Hortifrut S.A. partner to create Global Berry Farms, now called Naturipe Farms

1998
Facility Expansions
Blueberry cooling racks stacked in a warehouse

Alma, GA and Grand Junction, MI facility expansions

1993
The Clamshell – A Produce Industry First
The Clamshell – A Produce Industry First

Introduction by MBG of the first clamshell to be used in the produce industry — not just a first for blueberries.

1989
MBG Marketing
MBG Marketing

1989 Michigan Blueberry Growers Association (MBGA) changes its trade name to MBG Marketing (MBG) in recognition of its expanded geographic diversity.

 

1982
Welcome to the Great Sunbelt
Welcome to the Great Sunbelt

Future Georgia members welcomed the MBG board of directors to their first Sunbelt blueberry farm tour

1972
Member Perserverance
Member Perserverance

After the devasting frost of 1972, 400 Michigan and Indiana MBG growers rallied at an emergency meeting in South Haven to pledge unity and work toward the future.

1971
Innovations in Blueberry Packaging
Innovations in Blueberry Packaging

Michigan State University consumer preference panel evaluating blueberry packaging

1969
Major Grand Junction Facility Expansion
Major Grand Junction Facility Expansion

The News Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan

1964
Michigan Blueberries – Local Success Story
Michigan Blueberries – Local Success Story

South Haven (Mich.) Daily TRIBUNE

1955
Early Harvest Mechanization of Blueberry Fields
Early Harvest Mechanization of Blueberry Fields

Grand Junction, Michigan blueberry harvest

1951
Growing a Blueberry Cooperative
Growing a Blueberry Cooperative

Bill Donald – MBG’s First Full-Time General Manager

1945
Grand Junction Warehouse
Grand Junction Warehouse

A 30’ x 30’ warehouse was built in Grand Junction; it was doubled in size the following year.

1937
First Board of Directors
First Board of Directors

A meeting was held January 9, and a Board of Directors was elected. The original 13 grower numbers were issued and this number was to appear on every crate of berries marketed by that grower.

1936
Michigan Blueberry Growers Association Formed
Michigan Blueberry Growers Association Formed

On November 2nd, a preliminary organizational meeting was held and the Michigan Blueberry Growers Association was formed. Pictured is founding member Jack Strong and grandfather of current MBG member Chris Hodgman.

 

 

Our Beginning
Our Beginning

Stanley Johnston, a young horticulturist hired as superintendent of Michigan State University’s South Haven Experiment Station encouraged a small group of local blueberry growers to come together to address the problems of this foundling industry.