Bumper blueberry crop a record harvest
THE Australian blueberry industry is in the throws of delivering a record harvest of 10,000 tonnes of fruit.
With the bumper crop, the value of the industry will soar this year to $180-million.
President of the Australian Blueberry Growers Association Greg McCulloch said all states are producing the lucrative berries, however New South Wales growers are producing over 80% of the national harvest.
"We are now through the peak Northern NSW production, which resulted in record volumes being harvested - this coincides with the export window of opportunity," Mr McCulloch said.
The Australian Blueberry industry is continuing to grow around Australia including new plantings in Western Australia and Queensland.
"We are just over peak harvest at the moment with many new varieties coming to market this year," he said.
Up to 80% of blueberries are sold fresh within Australia, with another 10% exported to Asia and Europe.
Double digit growth is also forecast annually over the next five years, the timing of this also is expected to meet the export window of opportunity" said Mr McCulloch.
The New South Wales blueberry industry which is mainly concentrated around Coffs Harbour has seen new plantings through to Grafton, with new farms also coming on line at Tabulam on the QLD/NSW border.