Celebrating Tasmanian Blueberries in 2024
Fruit Growers Tasmania | Tuesday, 16 January 2024, 11.00am
Fruit Growers Tasmania in collaboration with Independent Grocery Stores (IGA) Tasmania, including Hill Street Grocer, is celebrating the very best time to eat Tasmanian grown blueberries.
For four weeks, starting today (16 January), we will be encouraging Tasmanians to eat blueberries as part of their family celebrations over the summer holidays or as a snack food for lunches going into the new school term.
The Tasmanian blueberry season runs from late December through to May, but the peak of the season is generally mid-January through to the end of February.
Tasmanian blueberries this season are particularly plump, juicy and sweet. Blueberries flourish in Tasmania’s cool temperate climate. Our long, slow growing season sees our blueberries develop a bold flavour that lasts.
The waxy bloom on the skin of a blueberry is a sign of freshness, it protects against insects and bacteria and seals in all that juiciness! It’s a sign they are wildly fresh!
Through our partners, and online on the Fruit Growers Tasmania and Tasmanian Grown websites, we have released a new promotional video that celebrates our blueberries. The video was created with funding support from the Tasmanian Government.
There is also access to stories about some of our passionate Tasmanian blueberry growers.
In addition, as part of the promotion, the Hobart city centre will be lit up in blue as part of their Festive Lighting at Franklin Square, Elizabeth St Mall and Kennedy Lane.
Peter Cornish, CEO of Fruit Growers Tasmania said “Tasmanian blueberries are one of my favourite fruits! I love the taste experience of a fresh Tasmanian grown blueberry; the flavour burst pops in your mouth!”
“My grandchildren also love them, and thankfully the little fellows can eat them without any mess!” laughed Peter.
“If you purchase Tasmanian grown blueberries, you know you are buying the very freshest berries virtually straight from the farm. At this time of year, the fruit is at its best, it is wonderfully healthy and an easy snack to take anywhere.
“Plus, you’ll be supporting local growers who have done it tough for a couple of years facing a range of issues including low mainland market prices and escalating freight, power and labour costs” Peter added.
Tasmania has some 70 commercial blueberry growers spread right around the island, including numerous organic growers. Some sell direct to the public through farmgate stalls, or at farmers markets, and some let customers pick their own. Many also supply retail stores both here and interstate during the season.
Collectively IGA Tasmania have over 80 stores across the state including the Hill Street Grocer Group, and Tasmanian grown blueberries will feature in all those stores.
Drew Freeman, CEO of IGA Tasmania said, “IGA Tasmania always looks to support local suppliers and farmers where possible.”
The Tasmanian blueberry sector has increased its production over the last 10 years with an estimated production of more than 11 million punnets per annum. Tasmania is the second largest production state in Australia. The sector is supplying niche international markets with the potential for new markets and greater exports in the years ahead.
Peter added, “It’s a challenge to identify profitable export markets that allow access, but we are seeing our entrepreneurial growers exploring new markets and discovering new opportunities which is really exciting.”
We encourage everyone to make the most of the season and visit their local IGA and Hill Street Grocer to buy some punnets of blueberries grown right here in Tasmania. If people are unsure ask the storekeeper or check the label to find Tasmanian grown.