Barberton Blue is a large-scale 45-ha blueberry farm where 15-ha phase 1 is being developed on land owned by Barberton Mines.
This blueberry farming project has created 80 jobs during the construction phase and 22 permanent jobs for care and maintenance until the harvest is ready. At full production over the 45 ha, berry picking demand is anticipated to create over 800 seasonal jobs, as a result of the labour-intensive nature of blueberry picking. To date, approximately US$ 2.3 million has been spent on Barberton Blue, mainly for the installation of shade nets, irrigation, fertiliser systems as well as the acquisition of some 94,000 blueberry bushes from accredited nurseries.
The Barberton region has a high unemployment rate and this much-needed venture demonstrates a long-term, financially viable investment that will benefit the local communities and is environmentally sustainable.