The peak industry associations representing Australia’s fastest growing fresh produce category – berries – have united to give their members one strong voice.
Berries Australia Limited is a joint venture representing the Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association, Raspberries and Blackberries Australia, and Strawberries Australia.
The new organisation represents a combined membership of approximately 700+ growers Across Australia, ranging from major horticultural enterprises and multi-site agribusinesses to local cooperatives and independent farms.
In total, the growers’ annual output of 109,000 tonnes of berries represents a gross return of $1.05bn farm gate value in the national economy.
At the inaugural meeting of Berries Australia in Coffs Harbour this week, well known berry industry executive, Peter McPherson of Costa Group, was elected inaugural President of the new body.
Speaking after the meeting, Peter McPherson said the Berries Australia joint venture represented all grower members nationally, and aimed to foster:
- opening and expansion of domestic and global markets for Australian berries
- continued innovation and development of skills to the advantage of all growers
- sustainable farming practices, including minimising operational impacts
- on surrounding communities and the environment
- ethical sourcing and engagement of labour
- provision of a safe working environment.
Berries are grown in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia enabling year-round production and supply to consumers. The industry continues to grow rapidly in Australia and is well regarded world-wide.
Berries Australia members supply supermarket chains, non-aligned retailers, food service and restaurants, and the new association has a strong focus on expanding export markets of Australian berries.