Berries Australia and the Australian Blueberry Growers Association (ABGA) both elected new leaders at their October AGMs. Anthony Poiner of SmartBerries has taken over as the Chair of Berries Australia from berry stalwart Peter McPherson and Andrew Bell from Mountain Blue has taken over from Jonathan Shaw of Mt Nimmel blueberry farm as the ABGA president.
Anthony has more than twelve years in the berry business and has been a key driver of blueberry production in Queensland with the establishment of a major site in Mundubbera. SmartBerries also grow rubus and Anthony’s overall knowledge of the category along with his experience as an importer/exporter will stand the industry in good stead.
Andrew Bell has been involved in the blueberry industry his entire life and has worked alongside his father Ridley Bell in the breeding, production and marketing of premium blueberries under the Mountain Blue brand. Andrew’s deep understanding of all facets of the blueberry industry will ensure that the ABGA remains an effective industry body for growers of all sizes.
The industry would like to give acknowledge the enormous contribution of both Jonathan Shaw and Peter McPherson to the Australian berry industry. Both were instrumental in the establishment of Berries Australia.
Peter was the inaugural Chair of Berries Australia, which was a fitting role for a man who has been a giant in the sector for more than 40 years. Peter’s deep understanding of the industry and his extraordinary international connections have been invaluable to the establishment of Berries Australia. Jonathan’s legal expertise and focus on governance enhanced the professionalism of both the ABGA and Berries Australia and his focused, outcomes driven approach will be missed.
The industry is fortunate to have leaders of such calibre take on these voluntary roles and there is no doubt that Anthony and Andrew will continue in this tradition.
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