12 Oct 2021

DRISCOLL'S AND COSTA'S CHINESE JOINT VENTURE REWARDED

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Costa and Driscoll's joint venture blueberries in China has won this year's Impact Award at the Asia Fruit Awards, announced this week.

The joint venture, which was established in 2015, includes nearly 300 hectares of blueberries in Yunnan province, southern China.

The Impact Award recognises a person, company or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the development of the fresh produce business in Asia.

Announcing the winner, Asiafruit editor John Hey said the Costa JV had brought world-leading berry growing technologies, varieties and agricultural expertise to China.

"These investments have helped set benchmarks in terms of quality standards and price realization for Chinese-grown berries. Berries grown in Yunnan by partners are consistently sold at much higher prices than berries imported into China, offering a superior quality experience to Chinese consumers," said Mr Hey.

In addition to its market impact, the JV has been recognised for its social and economic impact in terms of reducing poverty in the communities in which it operates.

"The development of high-value berry production in Yunnan has created a supply chain from which local communities can benefit in terms of job creation and farmer income."

Peter McPherson, Managing Director of Costa Berries International (pictured), said it was a great honour and privilege to win the Impact Award.

"Within five or six years, we were able to establish a significant vertically integrated berry business, where we utilised Costa and Driscoll's reputation as growers and marketers of high quality berries," McPherson said.

"This has included the establishment of substrate and protected berry plantations in Yunnan Province in southern China. Costa now operates in four main growing locations, with nearly 300 hectares planted and more under development as we speak.

"What has been achieved so far is a great credit to all those involved.

"We are committed to working cooperatively and harmoniously with stakeholders, including government officials, employees, local villages and the surrounding community. We have also worked closely with local authorities to ensure that what we are doing benefits local communities. In particular, by helping to alleviate poverty through the provision of continuous employment".

McPherson thanked Asia Fruit Logistica and Asia Fruit Magazine for organising the Asia Fruit Awards.

"Both organisations deserve enormous credit for all they have done to promote the fresh produce industry in Asia."

Source: Costa

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