BerryCo announces exclusive Blueberry IP deal
BerryCo, a joint venture between Valleyfresh Global and Southern Produce New Zealand, has announced an exclusive licensing deal for a suite of blueberry IP varieties in New Zealand. The agreement will see BerryCo develop, commercialise and market the blueberry IP for domestic and export markets.
The varieties are expected to deliver the foundation of a superior BerryCo blueberry offer for the future. The portfolio includes access to six low-chill varieties which will produce sweeter, larger fruit and, importantly, extend the season and export opportunities for NZ growers.
This deal represents a major step forward in the development of the New Zealand blueberry industry. BerryCo itself has a clear vision to become a driver in the blueberry category through the commercialisation of superior and exclusive IP varieties and is set to play a significant role in the rapid expansion of New Zealand’s blueberry footprint.
Over the last few years global demand for blueberries has continued to rise on the back of a sustained increase in market share for berryfruit. The New Zealand and Australian markets in particular remain currently under-serviced in this category. BerryCo sees this as an exciting opportunity for growers to benefit from the global lift in blueberry demand through investment in blueberry production.
Says Murray McCallum, CEO of Valleyfresh Global: “BerryCo has been a work in progress for some time and we see a huge amount of potential in international markets, particularly those close to home in Australia, New Zealand and obviously Asia. We are excited by this opportunity and look forward to developing what we expect to be one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent blueberry programs. This is just the start for us.”
The new varieties are currently in quarantine and first production is expected by 2018.
* BerryCo is a 50/50 joint venture between Valleyfresh and Southern Produce. Valleyfresh New Zealand headed by GM and Director Anton Masutti is an Australasian market-leader in the berry category with substantial experience in blueberry exports into Australia and Asia. In 2014 Valleyfresh became a part of the Freshmax Group of Companies. Southern Produce is an innovative New Zealand exporter and marketer specializing in Australian and Asian direct to retail programs.