T&G Global Expands Into Australian Blueberry Market
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - We may have just started spring here in the States, but T&G Global is looking toward its spring season down in New Zealand. The global fresh produce company is set to take a big bite out of the Australian blueberry market with the first commercial crop of new super-sized, superior-tasting blueberries to be launched in Australian retail stores this December.
T&G has secured 16 of the latest and top genetics from breeders Plant & Food Research in New Zealand and USA-based Fall Creek Farm and Nursery. Over the last two years, the company has successfully conducted trials of the premium blueberries with selected growers in five Australian states.
“We know Australian’s love blueberries, with more than 17,000 tonnes sold each year. With these unique premium varieties, we’ll be able to grow blueberries all-year-round, compared to them currently being available for only approximately eight months,” stated Danny Nightingale, Global Variety Commercialization Manager. “We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our trials, with the blueberries being bigger in size and tasting superior to what’s currently available.”
The trials have included a mixture of the new varieties such as Cargo, Last Call, and Blue Ribbon. According to the release, it is the first time these varieties have been grown in Australia for the Australian market.
“Our commitment to securing the best genetics saw us scour the world to find unique plant varieties which meet consumers’ needs, which is what we found in these varieties from Plant & Food Research and Fall Creek Farm and Nursery,” continued Nightingale. “Over the past two years, we’ve worked alongside a team of passionate growers in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, and Western Australia to trial them, so it’s great to see it coming together, with consumers able to experience them at the end of 2021.”
With 30 hectares (approximately 74 acres) already in the ground and producing high-quality results, and another 30 hectares soon to be planted, T&G expects volumes to steadily increase in 2021. The blueberries will be sold under T&G’s popular premium brand, Orchard Rd.
“This is a game-changer for the local berry sector because now we can grow in Australia, for Australian consumers, year-round, without the need to import from other countries,” Nightingale explained, stating the new varieties are strong performers and growers are impressed. “They’re easier to pick and the yield is significantly higher than other berry varieties, which is great news for growers because they’ll get more berries per hectare.”
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