Berryquest combined blueberry_strawberry industry conference, 2011 (BB11700)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The Australian blueberry industry had traditionally held BerryQuest conferences every 12 months to update its members on technological changes, innovation and government policy variations that may affect their businesses.
The conferences had in the past been jointly run with the Rubus (raspberry) industry due to its many similarities in production and marketing.
The recent BerryQuest combined blueberry and strawberry industry conference 2011 was held from the 19-21 October 2011 at Caloundra Queensland in an attempt to attract other types of berry growers, mainly strawberries and gain real value from our key note speakers.
The conference which consisted of one day of presentations, a pre conference tour of the Brisbane wholesale markets and a major chain store distribution centre and a post conference field day focussing mainly on strawberry production in poly tunnels and associated production equipment. The conference attracted approximately 120 attendees over three days.
The conference provided key note speakers the opportunity to emphasize the privileged position of the berry industries world wide due to their well documented, evidenced based nutraceutical benefits to the human diet.
This world wide publicity enabled the tremendous expansion of all berry categories including blueberries in Australia and worldwide over the last 10 years.
This expansion in blueberry production went from 1984 tonnes in 2007 to over 3780 tonnes in 2011 season and had also resulted in a combined increase in blueberry consumption in Australia. The conference also included a very informative session on marketing with a major retail chain store and a large blueberry marketer. This session was aimed primarily at the quality and consistency of the berry product being marketed by various parts of the industry and which varieties may be preferred by consumers and the major chain stores.
A post conference survey was conducted to provide the organising committee information on conference quality and future planning. Feedback from delegates on the quality and relativity of information presented was both informative and positive. Many issues that were deemed likely to affect producers in the near future were presented with the most up to date information available for them to make informed decisions.
Most people surveyed preferred a combined berry industry conference every 2-4 years compared to annually.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of Australian Blueberry Growers Association Inc.
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