Costa and Driscoll’s joint venture blueberry operation in China has won this year’s Impact Award in the Asia Fruit Awards, announced this week.
The joint venture, which was established
in 2015, includes close to 300 hectares of blueberries in the Yunnan Province
in southern China.
The Impact Award recognises a
person, company or organisation that has made a significant contribution to
developing 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 farming expertise to China.
“These investments have helped to
set benchmarks in terms of quality standards and price realisation for
domestically grown berries in China. The partners’ Yunnan-grown berries
consistently sell for significantly higher prices than imported berries in
China, delivering a premium experience for Chinese consumers,” Mr Hey said.
In addition to its market impact,
the JV was recognised for its social and economic impact in terms of poverty
alleviation in the communities where it operates.
“The development of high-value
berry production in Yunnan has established a lucrative industry that local
communities can benefit from in terms of job creation and farmer incomes.”
Peter McPherson, General Manager of
Costa Berries International, said it was a great honour and privilege to win
the Impact Award.
“Over the space of five or six
years, we have managed to establish a significant vertically integrated berry business,
in which we have utilised Costa’s and Driscoll’s world leading reputation as
growers and marketers of premium berries,” Mr McPherson said.
“This has included the establishment of substrate and protected
berry plantings in Yunnan Province, southern China. Costa now operates across four main growing
locations, with almost 300 planted hectares and more under development as we
“What has been achieved to date is a great credit to all involved.
“We have had a commitment to work cooperatively and harmoniously with
stakeholders including government officials, employees, local villages and the
surrounding community. We have also worked closely with the local authorities
to ensure that what we are doing provides benefit for the local communities. In
particular, helping with poverty alleviation through providing ongoing
Mr McPherson thanked Asia Fruit Logistica and Asia Fruit Magazine
for staging the Asia Fruit Awards.
“Both organisations deserve enormous credit for all they have done to promote the fresh produce industry in Asia.”