A leading Australian blueberry producer hopes to provide new opportunities to farmers and wider communities in some of the world’s poorest regions.
Mountain Blue Farms – whose Eureka variety is now grown across the globe –will donate A$0.05 from every blueberry punnet sold in Coles supermarkets towards a project being coordinated by aid agency World Vision. The programme helps farmers across the globe improve soil quality, irrigation and boost yields.
“I have seen with my business how a farm can not only provide income for my family but opportunities for many others,” said Mountain Blue founder Ridley Bell. “When I visited World Vision’s projects, I saw farmers doing back-breaking work and struggling to generate enough income to support their family. But with the right support to improve their soil quality, infrastructure and yield, these farmers can not only provide for their families but deliver jobs and opportunities for their entire community to escape poverty.”
Mountain Blue has already funded more than A$1.2m in World Vision projects in northern Uganda, upgrading teacher accommodation and maternal and child health facilities. World Vision chief executive Tim Costello thanked the company for its generous contribution.
“Mountain Blue has been at the forefront of blueberry innovation in Australia for four decades,” Costello said. “But the innovation has not only been on the farm but in the form of social innovation where the Bells are helping communities both on their doorstep and across the world.”