Research priorities for each commodity are set during the Annual Conference. The commodities include: blackberry, red and black raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, minor crop, grape viticulture, and wine processing. Pacific Northwest commodity groups are alerted to this event through the annual newsletter in September, and requested to review their priorities prior to the conference. During the conference, time is set aside to review and revise the research priorities. The priority setting meetings are open to all members of the small fruits industry including producers, processors, consultants and scientists. The meetings are facilitated by member of the small fruits industry. Decisions on revisions to the priorities are made by general consensus. The revised priorities are presented during the Stakeholder Council meeting at the Annual Conference.
During the course of the year, if a commodity group feels there is an urgent need to add a priority to the approved priority list, it may be revised based on the following criteria:
1. If the commodity is produced and represented in one state exclusively, a letter from the commodity organization on their letterhead must be written to NCSFR that includes the additional priority as well as a justification for the revision outside of the annual conference.
2. If the commodity is produced and represented in two or more states, a letter from each of the commodity organizations on their letterheads must be written to NCSFR that includes the additional priority as well as a justification for the revision outside of the annual conference.
The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research will accept three tiers of research priorities for each recognized and represented single commodity (e.g. blueberries) or commodity group (e.g. specialty crops). The first and second tier research priorities shall each be limited to five specific subjects and/or problems in a bulleted format. “Packing” of multiple subjects and/or problems within individual line items will no longer be accepted.
The third tier research priorities shall be limited to five bullets and “packing” of multiple subjects and/or problems within individual line items will continue to be accepted.