About Berries Australia

Berries Australia Limited is a joint venture between Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association (ABGA), Strawberries Australia Inc (SAI) and Raspberries and Blackberries Australia Incorporated (RABA). The initiative has resulted in a new proprietary company, limited by guarantee, and managed by a board of directors appointed by the shareholders (ABGA, SAI and RABA).

Berries Australia now represents the single biggest fresh produce line in our supermarkets and our combined value is more than $1 billion. The peak berry industry bodies (ABGA, RABA and SAI) still exist and each has two Directors on the Berries Australia Board, with Peter McPherson as the independent Chair.

Peter McPherson has been General Manager of the Costa Berry Category (formerly known as Berry Exchange and Blueberry Farms of Australia – BFA) since 1986. His vast experience managing large-scale horticultural operations has played a key role in the steady growth and success of Costa’s berry operations.

In July 2016 he was elevated to the position of General Manager – Berry International. Peter has been instrumental in the successful expansion of the berry business internationally, including blueberry operations in Morocco, the establishment of Costa China operations, and the expansion of company blueberry genetics licensing around the globe. Complementing his commitment to Costa’s berry business is Peter’s passion for product and industry improvement. Peter sits on many company and industry boards. He has held the roles of Treasurer and President of the ABGA, and Treasurer for the International  Blueberry Organisation (IBO), and in September 2016, he was honoured to be elected President of the IBO.

Berries Australia Board of Directors

Directors representing the Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association (ABGA)

Andrew BellJonathan Shaw
Andrew is the Managing Director of Mountain Blue – a diversified blueberry company, comprising a genetics company, farming operations, commercial nursery and a marketing company. Mountain Blue has significant farming operations, along with a network of third-party growers around Australia that grow genetics owned by Mountain Blue.Jonathan is both a blueberry farmer at Austinville in the Gold Coast hinterland and a Consultant in the wider agricultural community. He has been a member of the ABGA Committee for a number of years and stepped up into the President role at the 2018 AGM. Jonathan is an experienced board member having served on the board of Growcom since 2013 and brings significant legal and commercial experience from the agribusiness world.

Directors representing Raspberries and Blackberries Australia (RABA)

Christian ParsonsRichard McGruddy
Christian is the National Operations Manager for Costa Berries, overseeing more than 725 hectares of berry production across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. Christian has been in senior horticulture roles for over 10 years and has industry committee experience within Rubus, blueberries and avocados. Costa grows blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and strawberry crops which enables Christian to have a whole of berry category perspective as well as a detailed understanding of the challenges of each berry commodity across the country.Richard is the Director of Red Hill Berries based in south-east Queensland. The farms operations use protected cropping, comprehensive IPM strategies and high tech irrigation to grow both strawberries and raspberries. Founded in 2003 on an old pineapple farm at Caboolture, Red Hill Berries now operates across 5 separate sites including Wamuran and Applethorpe on the Granite Belt.

Directors representing Strawberries Australia (SAI)

Simon DornaufJamie Michael
The Dornauf family has been farming in the Meander Valley just north of Launceston for three generations. Their life in berries began 30 years ago, when Simon’s father, Robin, began growing raspberries for both domestic and export markets. Simon is the Director and Farm Manager of the current family farm, Hillwood Berries in the Tamar Valley. They grow all four of the major berry types; Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries & Blueberries.Jamie founded Ti Produce Marketing with Lam Ti Muir in 2003 after they recognised a need for a specialised strawberry export company based in Western Australia. Ti Produce largely handles Western Australian winter strawberries. They source fruit from their grower base of approximately 20 growers in the Wanneroo/Carabooda area with a combined planting of
approximately 7 million plants.

Berries Australia AGM

The latest AGM minutes are available here.

The Chairman’s Report from the latest AGM is available here.