T&G Global expands blueberry operations in Australia in new deal
September 1, 2017

T&G Global has become the exclusive licence holder for 16 high yielding blueberry varieties in Australia, which will see it expand its berry growing and selling operations worldwide.

The agreement covers varieties developed by Plant & Food Research in New Zealand and Fall Creek Farm and Nursery in Oregon, United States.

T&G now has exclusive rights to grow the varieties and is working with Australian growers who will be able to make their first plantings early next year, with commercial production starting in 2019.

T&G's executive general manager international, Sarah McCormack said T&G traded large volumes of berries from North and South America, New Zealand and Australia, and was a grower in its own right.

The agreement meant T&G would manage the supply chain from plant propagation to plant distribution and marketing, and complement its growing and marketing operations in New Zealand.

T&G's would be able to grow fresh fruit across a longer season. Australian fresh blueberry production has more than tripled since 2007 when volume was 2000 tonnes per annum to 7660 tonnes in 2016.

Meanwhile T&G has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia's leading producer and distributor of stone fruit, Montague, which already markets jazz and envy apples on behalf of T&G.   

The MOU will see T&G become the official export partner for Montague stone fruit brands. Under the agreement, T&G will sell and market Montague stone fruit offshore with the support of its offices in Asia. 

T&G recently reported a net profit of $12.7 million for the first half of the year, down from $22.7m in the same period the year before. The mixed financial performance had been caused by a backlog of locally grown fruit in a number of its key pipfruit markets.

Revenue climbed to $501.6m for the six months ending 30 June, an 18.6 per cent increase from the same period last year.