Autralia: New blueberries bloom in Queensland
March 28, 2014

A new multi-million dollar blueberry farm in Mundubbera in south-east Queensland is just weeks off picking its first fruit.

Stewart McKenzie is the farm manager at Smart Berries, developed by two investors from Brisbane and NSW and a plant breeder based in Western Australia.blues11

It's a quarter of the way into planting its full production area of more than 160 hectares.

Mr McKenzie says there is huge demand for fresh berries, and Mundubbera's warm, dry climate is ideal for new blueberry varieties.

"Blueberries is a new crop in the country and around the world because of antioxidants," he said.

"We have nine different varieties at the moment and a lot of them have been bred for early berries and for the hotter climate."

He says the farm will employ about 20 workers in peak time, made up of local and contract staff.

Deputy mayor of the North Burnett, Faye Whelan, says it's great news for the troubled local economy.

"Because we've had the two floods and now we've got drought, the economy of our towns are struggling... the boost from the jobs that this will generate is a huge thing."

Mr McKenzie says there have been some teething problems, but the crop is going well.