The North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association, Pittsboro, N.C., is drafting a research and promotion order for fresh and processed blackberries, said Debby Wechsler, executive secretary.

A work group of industry leaders is working on issues such as which growers would be assessed and at what level. A research and promotion order could assess domestic and imported blackberries and develop the market for both.

“There’s so much room to grow the demand,” Wechsler said. “People love blackberries … they have a warm, nostalgic feeling about them, but they don’t buy that many.”

The order is not expected to include organic blackberries. Wechsler said the work group hopes to have a proposal ready for the association’s annual meeting in January. A final proposal will be presented to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will oversee a referendum.

Wechsler said the research and promotion order could be in place by 2013.