Asahi Beverages has taken a major decision to support Tasmanian farmers by buying 50,000 kilograms of locally grown raspberries each year and stopping its imports from Poland.
The Tassie raspberries will be pressed and processed at the historic Cascade Brewery in Hobart. Some of the juice concentrate will be used in Tasmania for Mercury Cider while the rest is sent to the mainland to be turned into Spring Valley fruit juice, Cottee’s cordial, and Pop Tops, which are also Asahi Beverages’ brands.
All the raspberries will be sourced from the family-owned Westerway Raspberry Farm, one hour north-west of Hobart.
Asahi Beverages’ General Manager Procurement, Dave Baxter, said the switch to Tasmanian grown raspberries had been made because of their quality, their more reliable supply and Asahi’s commitment to supporting Australian farmers.
“We know the best beverages are made with the best raw ingredients – and it really doesn’t get much better than being able to source fresh, world-class produce while supporting local farmers,” Mr Baxter said.
“Spring Valley, Cottee’s, Pop Tops and Mercury Cider are iconic Australian brands. We’re proud that we get to help Tasmanian farmers showcase their quality produce to the rest of Australia.”
Westerway Raspberry Farm is the largest processing berry grower in Tasmania. Owner Richard Clark said the new partnership would support local jobs and the community.
"This deal will enable us to plant more fruit, employ more people and give greater security and certainty to those Tasmanians we already employ,'' Mr Clark said.
"We are a family business and take a lot of pride in what we do. By supplying our fruit to a local quality processor at Cascade, it enables us to showcase our berries in the best possible light. It means we are not compromising on the flavour which is important to us because we take care to grow our berries in the best Tassie soils and use local pristine water to irrigate.''
Mercury Cider, Spring Valley, Cottee’s and Pop Tops beverages featuring Tasmanian raspberries will start gradually hitting shelves later this year.