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Blueberries for all seasons: the Costa method

The company from Australia at the next edition of Macfrut (Rimini, 3-5 May 2023)

Costa Group, the main Australian blueberry world player, at the International Blueberry Days at Macfrut (3-5 May 2023 at Rimini Expo Centre). The appointment is on the first day of the fair on the occasion of the symposium which will compare the world's top blueberry experts. A world-class event that will see the participation of Maurizio Rocchetti , senior horticulturist of Costa Group, the leading Australian company in the cultivation of fresh fruit and vegetables. Rocchetti has been in Costa for ten years, he worked as blueberry production manager within the berry category and is now plant supply manager, overseeing plant supply and variety selection in all berry growing regions in Australia.

“Costa is the main Australian producer, packer and distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables and operates mainly in five main categories: berries, mushrooms, greenhouse tomatoes, citrus fruits and avocados – explains Rocchetti introducing the Australian global group – Overall there are about 7,200 agricultural hectares under cultivation, 40 hectares of greenhouse facilities and three mushroom growing facilities across Australia. Costa also has strategic foreign interests, with majority joint ventures covering six blueberry farms in Morocco and four blueberry and raspberry farms in China, covering approximately 750 hectares under cultivation.

Rocchetti places his focus on blueberry cultivation, at the center of his speech at the International Blueberry Days at Macfrut: “Costa blueberries are grown in Australia in four different states and in five different latitudes on approximately 480 hectares. The different growing regions allow Costa to supply fruit to its customers all year round. The blueberry production is made up of multiple varieties to adapt to all the different environmental conditions, with a large percentage dedicated to the production of the premium variety 'Arana' developed by Costa”.

The company has developed a specific blueberry program. “It's called the Variety Improvement Program and it's recognized globally, with Costa varieties authorized in regions including the Americas, Morocco, China and South Africa. Based in Corindi on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, the program develops one to two new blueberry varieties of global commercial value each year. Utilizes the extensive network of Costa farms located at different latitudes, from cold temperate to subtropical, evaluating and developing new varieties with different cold requirements and therefore suitable for a wide range of global growing conditions, satisfying the needs of global customers . Using traditional plant breeding techniques, the team identifies and develops new cultivars chosen in different key environments for their performance in fruit quality, productivity and agronomic results”.

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EFA News - European Food Agency