EXPORT MARKET: Oz Group Coffs Harbour blueberry industry workers with Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker and Oz Group's Sussan Marshall and Sarabjot Singh at the Coffs Harbour packing facility this week.
EXPORT MARKET: Oz Group Coffs Harbour blueberry industry workers with Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker and Oz Group's Sussan Marshall and Sarabjot Singh at the Coffs Harbour packing facility this week. Trevor Veale

The Coffs Coast's cash crop

WITH the constantly growing blueberry industry on our doorstep, the latest figures of how much money the exported fruits have earned are no surprise.

 Australia exported $8.9 million worth of blueberries to almost 20 countries including $4.4 million to Hong Kong last year.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker this week welcomed news the first Australian blueberries exported to India are now available in Indian grocery stores.

"India was our fifth-largest agricultural export market in 2016-17, with exports valued at $3.1 billion, up 475 per cent since 2011-12," he said.

In October, the Australian and Chinese Governments agreed on new horticulture market priorities, including blueberries and apples.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources successfully negotiated market access for blueberries to India in September 2015.

Demand for agricultural produce in India is forecast to increase by 136 per cent between 2009 and 2050, according to ABARES research.

Fruit consumption is also anticipated to rise by nearly 250% by 2050, with the popularity of nutrient-rich and versatile blueberries to increase in coming years.



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