Berry Exchange is one of the world’s premium growers, packers and shippers of blueberries and rubus (blackberries and raspberries), located just north of Coffs Harbour. We talk to General Manager, Peter McPherson, to find out more.
Tell us about the Berry Exchange and how it all got started.
Berry Exchange began its journey in the mid 1980s – the brainchild of the local Johnson farming family. The first harvest of blueberries occurred in 1986, and this has grown materially over the past 25 years to now being recognised as a leader in the global blueberry industry. This has been achieved through a reputation for premium consistency quality berries in both the domestic and overseas markets.
Your berries are being used as part of the 100 Mile Challenge. Tell us about the ingredients you’ll be supplying for the challenge.
We will supply fresh, delicious tasting berries (blues and raspberries) of the finest varieties to our local chefs for use in their dessert.
Local chef Dustin Bowie- Ford recently visited the farm. What did he take away from the visit?
He was very excited to see a thriving business producing fresh berries of the highest quality that meet the most stringent food safety standards (they are exported to most major markets globally).
The Berry Exchange is responsible for 70% of Australia’s total consumption of blueberries. What makes your berries so popular?
Our R&D investment over the past 25 years in variety improvement that has led to BX genetics being a world leader through quality, taste and shelf life. This has been assisted by the massive media popularity that blueberries have received through their status as one of the world’s ‘super foods’, through the high antioxidant content.
You’re a world leader in the variety development of early-season blueberries, which is now being licensed worldwide. How has this helped with cross season production?
The BX R&D variety improvement program has underpinned the success of the BX business through its exclusive relationship with the University of Florida (USA) – this has enabled BX to establish an opportunity to export the BX genetics to other parts of the world like Morocco and The Americas and partner up with the leading berry growers in those parts of the world – hence creating cross seasonal supply opportunities, while not competing against the domestic grown product.
What other ingredients are the Berry Exchange currently producing?
BX is also a large grower in raspberries and is currently rolling out a national growing program of the finest raspberry genetics in the world under license by Driscoll’s USA – the world number one berry grower.
Where can readers find your products for sale?
The BX berries (Driscoll’s brand) can be found in all produce outlets throughout Australia and also in many countries overseas.
Thanks Peter, for your exchange.