See how the raspberry and blackberry levy is being put to work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the industry levy, and results, in the R&D and marketing snapshots – or click on a project below to go straight to its update:

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s raspberry and blackberry grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • The new Raspberry and Blackberry Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, with an easy-to-read ‘at a glance’ version and the full PDF document. The SIP was finalised in April after close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders. It outlines priorities for strategic investment in the industry, and will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the raspberry and blackberry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest meeting notes from the raspberry and blackberry SIAP, which most recently met on March 30 in Melbourne, and is due to meet again during September.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the July 2016 to March 2017 financial operating statement, and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.

Any questions?

As well as the raspberry and blackberry grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Bradley Mills is always available to answer questions on the raspberry and blackberry program, on 0408 635 465 or at bradley.mills@horticulture.com.au. For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Lead Graeme Yardy.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Building resilience to drupelet disorder on rubus (RB14003)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Established in 2015, this project is identifying contributing causes to red drupelet disorder in blackberries, and looking at improved management practices pre, post and during harvest that might reduce its incidence.

What’s the latest update? The project’s second year of field trials wrapped up in April, with lab analysis of collected and frozen samples now ongoing. As with the first year of work, observations and data are being collected around:

  • The physical and chemical changes within fruit affected by red drupelet disorder (including changes to the structure of cells, pH and acidity changes, and chemical profiles within the fruit), to better understand the underlying physiology of the disorder.
  • The factors during harvest and storage that play a role in the disorder. The first year of trials indicated that storage temperature and post-harvest physical damage can play significant roles in red drupelet disorder, and early analysis from this season indicates fruit pulp temperature at and immediately following harvest is implicated.
  • The role of nitrogen fertilisation in the expression of the disorder, with the first-year results suggesting excess nitrogen can produce higher rates of red drupelet disorder (though affected fruit did not appear significantly different, chemically or physically).

Preliminary results were presented at the 2017 Fruit Growers Tasmania Conference at the end of May, and you can look for more detailed findings in an upcoming edition of Hortlink.

Rubus industry minor use program (RB16000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the raspberry and blackberry industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Enhanced National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (MT16005), which is delivering a nationally coordinated bee-pest surveillance program to help safeguard honey-bee and pollinator-dependent industries in Australia. The surveillance will enable the early detection of high-priority pest incursions of honey bees, providing the best opportunity for successful pest eradication. The raspberry and blackberry industry is one of several contributors to the project’s work.
  • Continuation of pilot systems to validate Pest Free Place of Production for Queensland fruit fly in the Yarra Valley (MT15028), which is currently wrapping up. The project has followed on from previous work to develop systems to validate ‘Pest Free Place of Production’ for Queensland fruit fly in the Yarra Valley, helping support market access for local growers by enabling trade of host fruits to several domestic markets without the need for costly treatment and certification. It has been supported by a number of industries.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the raspberry and blackberry marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption of the berries. Recent marketing efforts have included…

In-store activity

To promote and encourage trial of Australian raspberries and blackberries, an in-store sampling program was run from late January to February 18, at selected Coles and Woolworths stores in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Brand ambassadors offered shoppers samples of fresh berries on natural yoghurt topped with fresh mint leaves, and communicated key selling messages and price promotion (when applicable) to the target market.

Across 103 in-store sessions, the ambassadors had interactions with some 16,380 shoppers and distributed more than 13,300 samples. Over 50 per cent of shoppers who stopped by the in-store stands went on to purchase berries.

Public relations activity/media coverage

PR activity began with a media launch back in November and continued throughout the season. It resulted in 116 pieces of media and social media coverage in total, with Australian berry recipes and information reaching well over eight million people combined.

Coverage included berries being featured in a range of high-profile magazines, including Delicious, Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Health and New Idea); in metro and regional newspapers (close to 40 inclusions); online and in social media; and even on radio.

Social media campaign

Activity on the consumer-facing raspberry and blackberry Facebook page (www.facebook.com/lovefreshberries) wrapped up at the end of April. Over the duration of the campaign, over 413,682 people were reached with the page’s recipe ideas, berry tips, inspiration and more, with 2700 new fans liking the page. More detailed results of the total campaign will be reported on in the next edition of Hortlink.


Berries in-store

In-store sampling activity for raspberries and blackberries


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