New Zealand-headquartered T&G Global has secured one of the biggest collections of proprietary blueberry varieties in the world.
The announcement follows an agreement between the vertically integrated company and Plant & Food Research New Zealand that gives T&G Global excusive commercialisation rights to 16 premium blueberry varieties.
The agreement includes varieties from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery in Oregon, USA, for which Plant & Food Research holds the Australian licensing rights, as well as varieties developed by Plant & Food Research.
T&G executive general manager Sarah McCormack said the agreement would further drive growth in one of its key categories, adding to its large volume of berries traded from North and South America, New Zealand and Australia.
“Fall Creek is a significant global player in blueberry breeding and propagation, and Plant & Food Research have had some real success in breeding blueberries for temperate climates,” McCormack said. “Our new arrangement allows T&G to expand our footprint for berries in Australia.
“The portfolio includes Northern and Southern highbush varieties, as well as Rabbiteye which will suit a range of growing climates and market windows. This new suite will allow us to grow for, and export from Australia, which complements our existing growing and marketing operations in New Zealand.
“There is a good mix of varieties which are proven internationally, and we also have some really promising varieties which are yet to be commercially released.”
McCormack said the berries have a great flavour profile, and are high yielding, with growers already requesting to plant the varieties across Australia.
“We’re primarily looking for partners who like T&G adhere to SQF-Harps growing principles and share our commitment to ethical and sustainable growing,” she said.
T&G has also appointed a new commercial manager of berries, Danny Nightingale, to support the investment for its Brisbane offices.
The first plants will be available in early 2018, with commercial plantings from 2019.