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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Clarks go better with Coke

FRUIT grown at New Norfolk and Westerway will continue to flavour Cascade syrups following the signing of a new agreement with beverage giant Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA). The company recently announced it had sealed a three-year fruit supply deal with Rob Clark of Lanoma Estate, to supply locally-grown blackcurrants and raspberries for the range of Cascade non-alcoholic beverages.

The deal ensures that the popular Cascade Ultra-C blackcurrant fruit syrup and raspberry fruit syrup will contain 100% Tasmanian fruit. As well, Coca-Cola Amatil's fruit and vegetable brand SPC has purchased local raspberries and strawberries for its new range of IXL jams.

Visiting New Norfolk earlier in the month, CCA managing director Alison Watkins said the announcement was great news for both Tasmanian growers and the local heritage of the Cascade products now owned by CCA. “We are proud to build on the brand heritage of Cascade which has been refreshing Australians for more than 100 years,’ Mrs Watkins said.

“Since taking over bottling of the Cascade syrups CCA has been and will remain committed to using 100% Tasmanian fruit. Ensuring we continue the supply of Tasmanian fruit is essential to the authenticity of our product. I am also very pleased to that SPC is now using Tasmanian raspberries and strawberries for our new stevia-sweetened IXL jams.

"It’s an interesting full circle because Rob Clark’s grandfather used to supply fruit to Henry Jones’ IXL jams commencing in the '50s, and of course SPC now owns the Henry Jones and IXL brands."

The Cascade fruit supply deal involves both blackcurrants and raspberries over three years. CCA has already purchased the equivalent of 120 tonnes of Tasmanian raspberries and 270 tonnes of Tasmanian blackcurrants. The fruit will be sourced from Lanoma Estate’s two growing sites in the Derwent Valley. In addition, SPC has purchased more than 16,500kg of raspberries and strawberries this year.

Lanoma Estate’s Rob Clark said his farm had been supplying high quality berries to Cascade for more than 20 years. The commitment from CCA underpinned the continued viability of the family's entire fruit farm and provided the scale needed to have sufficient fresh berries for Tasmanians in peak demand periods before Christmas and at the Taste of Tasmania, when the farm employs up to 120 seasonal staff.

“The new relationship with CCA has now also opened doors to major customers such as SPC who are using our fruit for their newly released range of IXL stevia-sweetened jams," Mr Clark said. “Australian consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food is sourced. Supermarkets are realising this and we are starting to see more of our Australian made and grown berry products on shelves. It is fantastic that Cascade fruit syrups, which have always contained Tasmanian fruit and been Australian made and grown, will continue to be so. “

Lanoma Estate has been owned by the Clark family for three generations. The farm grows more than 80 acres of blackcurrants and raspberries producing more than 200,000kg of fruit on growing sites located at New Norfolk on the banks of the Derwent River, and at Westerway on the Tyenna River.

The Westerway farm grows traditional raspberry and blackcurrant varieties. Willamette is a dark, sweet and juicy raspberry ideal for using in juices and jams. The low-yielding White Bud blackcurrant has high levels of natural sugar and acidity which gives it a unique fruity and refreshing flavour.

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