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Frozen Australian berries already a hit
Australian grown frozen berries are not due to hit the supermarket shelves for two to three months, but the team behind the new Matilda’s Fruit brand frozen strawberries have already been receiving messages of support from government and fans on facebook, coverage in national Australian press and a media release from Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Senate Leader Fiona Nash congratulating husband and wife team Matt and Ruth Gallace on their efforts in bringing Australian grown frozen berries to market. “I congratulate Matilda’s on giving Australians the opportunity to put Australian frozen berries in their shopping basket,” Senator Nash said in the latest statement.
According to the Gallaces who already run Rebello, a value added spin off of Mr Gallace’s father’s strawberry business supplying fruit wines and cider the time is ripe for introducing premium quality Australian frozen berries to the market. “People are now so much more educated about why it costs more to produce locally grown frozen berries and in the end it’s about giving people choice,” said Mrs Gallace. “Frozen imports will still be there, but it’s like with anything in life, you’ve got options now and all indications are that people are prepared to pay more for quality, local produce”
At the moment it is likely that Matilda’s frozen strawberries will cost around $2 more than standard imported berries, but there is more work to be done on pricing for other lines of berries “We’ve yet to do the work on other berries. We’ll be exploring all options including sourcing from other growers and new plantings,” Mrs Gallace confirmed.
Even though there is an understanding that the media coverage over the recent Hepatitis A scare will die down, the Gallaces are confident that there is demand for their newest product, and they have been doing their own form of market research including via social media to confirm that.
“We’ve just gone live on social media this week and there’s a lot of support. We’re also doing our own form of market research that way,” noted Mrs Gallace. “This is something that’s always been considered because we have an absolute abundance of strawberries but there hasn’t been the market for other berries. We’re always looking for ways to value add and as far as infrastructure and expertise goes, it just fits in.”
Indeed, the whole idea for the name Matilda’s came about by a group of friends that Mrs Gallace regularly sees while watching her daughter do gymnastics. “It came about during a brain storm with girlfriends while our girls were at gymnastics. We were trying to think of a name because we wanted it personified. We’ve got various products with the same name as our daughters, Charlotte and Ella.”
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Ruth and Matt Gallace
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