Blueberry grower’s Eureka moment
October 24, 2015

Blueberry industry pioneer Ridley Bell is bringing a new variety to Australian tastebuds this spring.

The new variety, named Eureka, will be sold exclusively at Coles across Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.

The variety was trialled in some Coles stores last season and will now be introduced across multiple states for the first time this season.

It proved popular among consumers for being large, juicy and boasting a high eating quality.

The new variety is the result of extensive breeding by the Bells at their family business, Mountain Blue Farms, at Lindendale and Tabulam, NSW.

Mr Bell is regarded as one of the first people to sell blueberries in Australia in the 1970s.

He originally approached buyers at the Footscray market with the then-unknown fruit.
Ridley's daughter Natalie Bell, said her father managed a breeding program for the Horticultural Research Institute in the seventies, then moved up to Northern NSW, where he started a low-chill variety to grow in warmer climates.

Today Mountain Blue Farms produces its own cuttings and plants and also a thriving wholesale nursery business, now producing about one million blueberry plants annually.

The business produces 400,000kg of blueberries for the domestic market and has been supplying to Coles since late 1990s.

Photo: Ridley Bell and his daughter Natalie on the Mountain Blue Farms property. The family is releasing the new Eureka blueberry into Coles this month.


Queensland Country Life