The Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association (ABGA) has entered a joint venture with Raspberries and Blackberries Australia (RABA).
It is envisaged the new entity, to be known as Berries Australia Limited, will act as a service provider to the whole berry category, providing secretariat services to the two peak industry bodies initially. It will also develop and implement specific projects across the rubus and blueberry categories, with a joint export market development plan among its priorities.
Berries Australia will represent a membership base of approximately 4oo growers, ranging from major horticultural enterprises and multi-site agribusinesses to local cooperatives and independent growers. In total, the growers’ combined annual output of 22,000 tonnes represents a gross farm gate value of over A$500m.
“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,” according to a release from Berries Australia.
Berries Australia has a board of directors in place, with Alex Smith, currently the executive director of the ABGA, to act as the joint venture’s chief executive.