A collective of Māori entities is looking to assert control of their land and generate employment through the berryfruit industry. 

Miro Limited Partnership (Miro) is a collective that includes whānau land trusts, iwi and hapū groups. Their vision is to commercialise high value berry varities in partnership with Māori landowners. 

Miro have identified that the global health food sector is growing year by year and they are ready to take a piece of the market pie. 

Its director, Steve Saunders, says more berries continue to be grown globally due to consumer demand. 

"Berries are being grown globally at a phenomenal rate of 20% year-on-year and it's really a demand of consumers to consume healthier snacking products and food." 

Saunders says one of Miro's goals is to farm 500ha of berries which in turn will create over an estimated 5000 jobs and bring income to the local economy. Miro are looking to cater to both global and local markets. 

"The target market is international, particularly Australia and Asian countries. But there's also really fantastic opportunity domestically as well to sell high quality berries to local consumers." 

Miro chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen says the business is an opportunity for Māori to get better value for money with their whenua, and to be able to implement tikanga around good environmental practice. 

"For too long our whānau, our Māori land blocks have leased their lands to third parties for a pittance. So we want to regain control. We want to restore our tikanga and our environmental practices on our whenua." 

Miro are based in Te Puna, near Tauranga, in the Western Bay of Plenty.

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