Costa Group has announced a four-year plan to invest A$80m in growing its berry business from 2017 to 2020.
The new growth plan will build on Costa’s existing expansion projects, with up to 11 individual projects involved covering blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.
“The current berry growth plan as documented in [Costa’s] 2015 prospectus is a three year program costing A$47m, which will be completed in 2017,” Harry Debney, Costa CEO said in a company statement. “This has cemented Costa as the clear technology and market leader in the production of blueberries and raspberries, and as a high-tech seasonal strawberry producer in Australia with product marketed through our joint venture, Driscoll's Australia.”
Costa plans to expand plantations in 2017, with new high-quality blackberry varieties to be commercialised within the next two years.
“In keeping with Costa having been a global pioneer of substrate berry production, all of the extensive new plantings will be housed under protected cropping and the vast majority grown in substrate above the soil,” Debney said.