Fruit Growers Victoria Ltd (FGVL) is excited to announce it will hold an inaugural conference for apple, pear and stonefruit growers.
The conference will be held on 16–17 August 2018 at the Eastbank centre in Shepparton. Day one of the conference will include guest speakers covering topics such as integrated pest management, Queensland fruit fly control, export reports and crop regulation. Day two of the conference will include a packing shed tour, storage facility tour and orchard visit. More details will be provided closer to the date.
With the 2018 harvest now wound up, many growers are looking to remove poor-performing blocks, especially in the pear category. Many Goulburn Valley excavator companies are heavily booked to remove trees. FGVL and industry are looking to the SPC orchard census data to gain actual tree removal figures in September 2018. Industry also needs to work with SPC to gain an early indication of canning quotas so growers will know early to remove trees.
A warmer growing season throughout Victoria will have a beneficial impact on fruit quality, especially with higher sugar levels and better eating experiences for consumers. Export of apples and pears is still high on the agenda for growers and FGVL hopes to have comparative figures to present to growers in the next state roundup.
We have been closely involved with the Victorian Farmers Federation Horticulture Group in lobbying against the labour hire licensing bill purely to avoid duplicate laws from both state and federal government and to avoid union-influenced labour hire companies restricting orchards in harvesting or packing fruit in a timely and cost-effective manner.
FGVL is against the potential for growers to be fined if they do not use licensed labour hire companies to pick or pack their fruit. FGVL is not against regulation of contractors and protecting workers from exploitation but is against creating a whole new commission or bureaucracy that will be ultimately funded by growers via labour hire licensing fees. We believe the horticulture industry is being unfairly targeted in the creation of this bill.