Ex­clu­sive blueberry rights se­cured

T&G Global has be­come the li­cense holder of a suite of 16 pro­pri­etary blueberry va­ri­eties in Aus­tralia, al­low­ing it to bet­ter de­liver to grow­ing de­mand for berry fruit world­wide.

The Orchardist - - News -

The ex­clu­sive agree­ment rep­re­sents one of the big­gest col­lec­tions of pro­pri­etary com­mer­cial and pre-com­mer­cial blueberry va­ri­eties in the world and is the re­sult of an agree­ment be­tween T&G and Plant & Food Re­search in New Zealand. The ar­range­ment in­cludes va­ri­eties de­vel­oped by Plant & Food Re­search and a col­lec­tion of pre­mium va­ri­eties from Fall Creek Farm and Nurs­ery in Ore­gon, USA, for which Plant & Food Re­search holds the Aus­tralian li­cens­ing rights. T&G’s ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager in­ter­na­tional, Sarah McCor­mack says T&G cur­rently trades large vol­umes of berries from North and South Amer­ica, New Zealand and Aus­tralia and is a grower in its own right.

“T&G now has the ex­clu­sive rights to grow 16 of Plant & Food Re­search and Fall Creek va­ri­eties in Aus­tralia which we are very ex­cited about,” she says. “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.”

This new agree­ment will allow T&G to drive fur­ther growth in one of its key cat­e­gories and key mar­kets through man­ag­ing the sup­ply chain from plant prop­a­ga­tion to plant dis­tri­bu­tion and mar­ket­ing.

“Our new ar­range­ment al­lows T&G to ex­pand our foot­print for berries in Aus­tralia,” Sarah con­tin­ues.

“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.”

The va­ri­eties T&G has li­censed in Aus­tralia are high yield­ing, with a great flavour pro­file.

Sarah says T&G has al­ready re­ceived in­ter­est from grow­ers want­ing to plant them.

“We are look­ing to work with grow­ers across all Aus­tralian states as the va­ri­eties are very adap­tive to dif­fer­ent grow­ing con­di­tions. 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 adds.

T&G ex­pects the first plants to be avail­able in early 2018, and will scale up pro­duc­tion for com­mer­cial plant­ings from 2019.

David Hughes, group gen­eral man­ager com­mer­cial for Plant & Food Re­search says, “This ar­range­ment is a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion of our very suc­cess­ful and long­stand­ing com­mer­cial li­cens­ing re­la­tion­ships with Fall Creek Farm and Nurs­ery and T&G.

“We are ex­cited about T&G’s com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing fresh fruit across a longer sea­son, with more op­tions for great tast­ing blue­ber­ries for Aus­tralian con­sumers from pro­duc­tion in New Zealand and Aus­tralia.”

T&G’s gen­eral man­ager diver­si­fied hor­ti­cul­ture Damien Gib­son led the dis­cus­sions with Plant & Food Re­search over the new agree­ment over the past 12 months and says it’s ex­cit­ing to see it com­ing to fruition.

“We’re for­tu­nate to have a long es­tab­lished and suc­cess­ful com­mer­cial part­ner­ship with Plant & Food Re­search,” Damien says “To­gether we’re lever­ag­ing the fun­da­men­tals of that re­la­tion­ship across to the berry cat­e­gory. Plant & Food Re­search have been proac­tive in get­ting a lot of the pre-com­mer­cial work com­pleted so we’re in a strong po­si­tion to build from that.”

To sup­port the in­vest­ment fur­ther, T&G has ap­pointed a new com­mer­cial man­ager of berries based in Aus­tralia. Danny Nightin­gale is based in Bris­bane and will be ac­tively work­ing with lo­cal grow­ers.

Aus­tralian fresh blueberry pro­duc­tion has more than tripled since 2007 when vol­ume was 2,000 tonnes per an­num to 7,660 in 2016.

“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.”

‘Top Shelf’ blue­ber­ries, just one of the va­ri­ety de­nom­i­na­tions T&G Global has the li­cens­ing rights to grow in Aus­tralia. Im­age credit: Fall Creek Top Shelf ©2013. All Rights Re­served.

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