Local blueberry grower Sandi Cleary has won the Australian Institute of Horticulture Student of the Year award.

The former North Coast TAFE student was recognised for her exemplary work in the blueberry industry at the annual AIH conference in Cairns on Saturday.

Ms Cleary, who operates her own organically certified blueberry orchard, sees a bright future for the industry on the North Coast.

“The growth of the domestic blueberry industry is up toward 18%, year on year. It’s a pretty exciting time for our industry, especially here on the North Coast,” she said.

Ms Cleary has created a range of products from her blueberries, and her signature blueberry syrup was recently used by well-known chef Matt Golinski.

“I make a spiced blueberry chutney, blueberry jam and blueberry syrup. The syrup was used by well-known chef Matt Golinski for a lunch of over 100 people at the recent Tastings on Hastings event in Port Macquarie,” she said.

Ms Cleary says she is looking forward to expanding on her range of products, and working with more critically acclaimed chefs.

Pictured above: Sandy Cleary showcases her product range