BerryWorld Australia has picked the first raspberries from its new Tasmanian-based farm.
This is the company’s third farm to enter production since joint venture partner Piñata Farms established the growing arm in 2016.
Gavin Scurr, managing director of BerryWorld Australia, said Tasmania's initial season would run until May with the next harvest resuming by November this year. The farm is expected to reach full production by 2024.
'Going forward, the season will run from November to May. The Tasmanian operation includes some 30 tunnels in production and a high-tech packhouse featuring the only heat-sealing machine we know of in Tasmania,” Scurr said.
'Orielton was selected because it is warmer and drier than other Tasmanian raspberry growing regions. It is also a traditionally windy area and wind impacts are mitigated by growing raspberries in polytunnels.'
The farm, north-east of Hobart, was previously used for agricultural purposes.
The redevelopment included extensive earthworks to achieve the right slope for optimal drainage, construction of polytunnels with customisations such as wind doors, connection to the South-East Irrigation Scheme to ensure a stable and reliable water source.
BerryWorld-branded raspberries are also produced in winter at Wamuran and in summer at Stanthorpe, Queensland, taking advantage of the climatic variations of each region to spread the harvest out.
Scurr said the first small volume of berries will be distributed in Tasmania. Once volume increases, fruit will be shipped from Devonport to Melbourne for distribution.