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APAL looks forward to building APFIP services

Research & Extension

New variety and rootstock evaluations, importation quarantine management and tree certification services to industry formerly delivered by the Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program (APFIP), will now be delivered by APAL.

APAL and APFIP agreed in November that APAL will take over the delivery of the services and Tom Frankcomb, currently APFIP Operations Manager, has joined APAL as Variety Development Manager.

Justin Smith, APAL’s Industry Services Manager said the new arrangements provide greater long-term certainty, remove the reliance on grower levies and coincide with APAL taking over management of Future Orchards® program.

“Since its establishment in 1997, APFIP has provided our industry with independent evaluations of 219 apple and 90 pear cultivars through its variety evaluation trials and this program continues to grow,” Justin said.

APFIP also implemented a certification system for rootstock and trees that enables growers to access new propagating material that is free from the most detrimental viruses, is true to type and meets prescribed standards.

“Our goal is to build on this strong legacy to create more frequent and timely engagement with growers through our Future Orchards® programs and communications,” Justin said.

APAL will continue to deliver variety evaluations at sites across the country.

Access to information on new varieties is a high priority for growers wanting to choose the best varieties for their region and climate and that are capable of producing good packouts of high-quality fruit to match consumer preferences.

Tasmania-based Variety Development Manager Tom Frankcomb has been in the operations manager role at APFIP since October 2018 and is a former Huon Valley grower, Marcus Oldham graduate and Nuffield scholar.

APFIP Operations Manager Tom Frankcomb will continue to delivery variety evaluation services in a new role as APAL Variety Development Manager.

Tom said he was excited by the new arrangements and the opportunity to deliver variety development services through APAL for Australian apple and pear growers.


Further reading

Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program (APFIP)

Variety evaluation: Pears that will arrive well before the heirs


APFIP Varieties and rootstock

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