A SIZABLE federal government grant will go towards getting more Australian berries into international dishes.
Earlier in January, Berries Australia secured a $239,000 Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) grant which will support trade expansion of Australian blueberries and strawberries into key high-growth markets.
In Australian supermarkets, berries are the single biggest fresh produce line with a combined value of more than $1 billion.
Berries Australia executive director Rachel Mackenzie said the project aims to build exporter confidence and grow exports in high-growth markets, such as Singapore, India, Thailand and UAE.
"The funding will provide the opportunity for exporters to re-ignite conversations and build relationships with importers and retailers in the target markets," Ms Mackenzie said
"Even if growers are not exporters themselves, they will also benefit as this grant will help grow the pie and boost returns for all growers.
"The project will help the broader agriculture sector in achieving the $100 billion farmgate value by 2030 target."
Prior to COVID 19, the Australia berry industry was starting to build momentum in export of both blueberries and strawberries.
Strawberries are the largest berry export with $35m export value in 2019.
Agriculture minister David Littleproud said many berry growers were eager to export after doing it tough during the pandemic.
"This project will provide them with the insights and resources to actively and strategically engage with importers and retailers," Mr Littleproud said.
"Berries represent a terrific opportunity for growth.
"There is enormous potential to translate this Australian success into a global export powerhouse, especially since Australia holds a number of the most prized berry varieties."
Conference set for Gold Coast
THE combined blueberry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry industries will converge on the Gold Coast from July 25 to 28 for this year's BerryQuest International 2022 event.
The conference will take place at Sea World Resort and Conference Centre.
Berries Australia chair Peter McPherson said hundreds of local and international berry growers and industry experts will converge on the Gold Coast for what promises to be an exciting three days.
"BerryQuest International 2022 will be an opportunity for our berry community to come together to support one another and to share recent learnings, as well as showcase the latest innovations including growing techniques, research, packaging, export development, biosecurity, labour and marketing," Mr McPherson said.
The industry boasts more than 700 berry growers producing world-class fruit which is enjoyed by Australians and many other consumers around the world.
Tickets to BerryQuest International 2022 are on available from berries.net.au/bqi2022 with a range of ticket options available including full-conference, single-day and farm tour packages.
An early bird discount for full-conference packages will be available until February 28, with the first 200 delegates receiving a free breakfast and tour of Sea World's Shark Bay.
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