Fruit Growers Tasmania partners with retailers in Tasmania to highlight the blueberry season to consumers

Fruit Growers Tasmania has collaborated with Independent Grocery Stores (IGA) Tasmania, including Hill Street Grocer, to celebrate the Tasmanian blueberry season.

A promotional campaign will run for four weeks starting 16 January encouraging Tasmanians to eat blueberries as part of their family celebrations over the summer holidays or as a snack food for lunches going into the new school term.

The campaign will include a promotional video celebrating the fruit – created with funding support from the Tasmanian government – that will be used by retail partners and displayed online on the Fruit Growers Tasmania and Tasmanian Grown websites.

Consumers will also be able to access stories about Tasmanian blueberry growers and the Hobart city centre will be lit up in blue as part of the Festive Lighting at Franklin Square, Elizabeth St Mall and Kennedy Lane.

Fruit Growers Tasmania chief executive Peter Cornish said the campaign would highlight the efforts of some 70 commercial blueberry growers on the island.

“If you purchase Tasmanian-grown blueberries, you know you are buying the very freshest berries virtually straight from the farm. At this time of year, the fruit is at its best, it is wonderfully healthy and an easy snack to take anywhere,” said Cornish.

“Plus, you’ll be supporting local growers who have done it tough for a couple of years facing a range of issues including low mainland market prices and escalating freight, power and labour costs.”

Drew Freeman, chief executive of IGA Tasmania said the retailer always looks to support local suppliers and farmers where possible.

The Tasmanian blueberry industry has increased its production over the last ten years now producing more than an estimated 11m punnets per annum. In addition to supplying domestic markets during its December through May season, the Tasmanian blueberry industry also exports, an outlet it is looking to develop further.

“It’s a challenge to identify profitable export markets that allow access, but we are seeing our entrepreneurial growers exploring new markets and discovering new opportunities which is really exciting,” said Cornish.