Strawberries were first commercially grown in Victoria’s Yarra Valley during the 1950’s. Strawberry production started in this region as migrant families begun to settle on the outskirts of Melbourne, particularly in those areas with rich fertile soils.
Today there is close to 100 strawberry farms within Victoria, and they spread from Portland in the south west to Wodonga in the north east. However the majority of farms, 75 percent, are still located within the Yarra Valley, a short 45 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.
Back in the 1950’s strawberries were only distributed through the Melbourne market, that was until Gordon Chapman took the first consignment of strawberries to the Sydney market on the back of a basic flat-tray tuck in the 1960’s.
Times have changed and now strawberries are distributed to markets throughout Australia’s eastern seaboard and exported throughout Asia. But unlike in the 1960’s strawberries are now transported in refrigerated trucks so they reach consumers in perfect condition.
Through the production of different varieties the Victorian strawberry industry is able to supply fruit to the Australia market for 8 months of the year beginning in October.