Investment snapshot: Tasmanian berries are on the menu, everywhere
A great climate and increased opportunities have led to a big growth in berry growing in the state.
Tasmania has a reputation for premium quality food and wine. One of the key growth areas is berry fruit, which is recognised for its high levels of antioxidants and associated health benefits, and its delicious flavour featuring on many summer desserts and delights.
Australia’s production of berries has tripled in the past five years and the value of sales for raspberries, blueberries and blackberries continues to increase, with much of that growth occurring in Tasmania. New varieties, expansion of production areas and better storage technology mean the industry can deliver fresh local berries all year round, which in turn, has sparked greater consumer demand.
The largest horticultural producers in Australia, the Costa Group, has identified Tasmania as having one of the best climatic conditions to grow berries anywhere in the world. This is evident from the state being home to around 50 berry growers, providing a mixture of small scale production selling to local farmers markets or offering “pick your own” visitor experiences, and with large scale producers supplying supermarkets and international markets such as China.
Berry production occurs across the state in the major horticultural regions, including the Huon Valley, Derwent Valley, Tamar Valley, northwest coast and northern Midlands.
Key competitive advantages in Tasmania include:
- ideal growing conditions for berries, with the essential winter chill followed by a long mild growing season that supports fruit development, enhanced flavour and longer shelf life;
- a strong biosecurity system, working to enhance Tasmania’s natural advantages as an island providing a barrier to pests and diseases;
- access to water supported through existing and planned irrigation schemes, supplementing the state’s natural rainfall;
- climate change forecasts which indicate that Tasmania will continue to be an ideal location to produce cool-climate fruit; and
- recognition of Tasmanian product as a premium brand.
If you’re interested in working or investing in the horticultural industry, Tasmania is a berry utopia and the world can’t get enough of this growing sector.