How an iconic Aussie biscuit will save Queensland farmers
Raspberries grown at a family farm in Caboolture will be the star of a new Tim Tam flavour hitting shelves today - a big win for farmers who have battled drought and the impacts of COVID-19.
The four new flavours; Moreton Bay Raspberry and Dark Choc, Kensington Pride Mango and Cream, Murray River Salted Double Choc and Dimbulah Mountain Estate Coffee and Choc were expected to hit biscuit aisles from January 11.
All the raspberries used in the new biscuit were grown by Caboolture farmers Stuart and Allison McGruddy from My Berries.
Stuart's family has been growing berries in the region for 12 years - they were the first to grow them commercially in Queensland.
His parents are now retired but his brother continues to grow raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.
The McGruddy's launched their frozen raspberries at local farmers' markets in 2013 - their mission was to find a way to use the berries not making it to supermarket shelves.
The business idea took off in 2016 after issues with imported raspberries - their products are now available in more than 850 stores across Australia.
They also export to Singapore and the Middle East.
"We were subjected to a very bad drought and this reduced water available to plants, yields and plant life. The unpredictability of mother nature is always a concern and we can only manage this the best way we can," Mr McGruddy said.
"COVID-19 had a big impact on our business and on our local farms.
"It was extremely challenging to find people to help pick and process berries and crops were sacrificed.
"We welcome people to our region to help us pick our beautiful berries. On a positive note, consumers are more conscious than ever in what they are consuming and purchasing with a focus on Aussie grown and made products."
Both said it was "so exciting" to have their berries star in the new Tim Tam biscuit.
"The greatest benefit in sourcing raspberries from the Moreton Bay for an iconic Tim Tam biscuit is job creation and this is what our community needs right now," Mr McGruddy said.
"The more raspberry Tim Tam biscuits that are enjoyed around Australia and the world the more employment opportunities are created from farm pickers to food production to logistics, distribution, and sales."
Originally published as How an iconic Aussie biscuit will save Queensland farmers