Australian Fruitgrower – Dec 2018/Jan 2019

The current lack of a tailored visa to deal with the unique challenges faced by horticulture is top of our advocacy priorities. Specifically, we are driving for a more portable, administratively-simple and low-cost visa, which allows smaller growers to access foreign workers, while also ensuring the proper safeguards to protect workers from any exploitation.

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Profile

Simplicity is not the first word that springs to mind when considering the complexity of running five orchards across two states, a large packhouse and a fledgling cider operation.

But at Nightingale Brothers, based in Victoria’s north east, continually striving for a way of delivering better quality more efficiently and smoothly is a goal that underpins daily decision-making.

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News

With market access negotiations underway for Australian mainland apples and strong progress made towards the launch of Pink Lady® in China, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) are doubling down on their efforts to forge relationships in the region.

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Labour

Rob Hayes, Victorian State Manager of the National Harvest Labour Information Service provides an update on changes to labour law, labour-hire licensing and visa flexibility.

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Workers from the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu are among those keen to take on harvest jobs in Australia under the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP).

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Marketing

It can often be a challenge to find new ways to grow in mature categories already purchased by most Australian households like Apples and Pears; however, Nielsen Homescan analysis reveals that there are pockets of opportunity for both.

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Keeping apples and pears front-of-the-mind and making sure consumers know how to get the best from them underpins levy-funded marketing investment. Hort Innovation’s Olivia Grey shares some of the successes of the 2018 campaign.

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Business

When it comes to blockchain, most growers don’t know what to believe or how to prepare but early trials with mangoes indicate this technology could transform the fresh produce supply chain and create value to all participants in the supply chain.

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Food Safety

What happens when you answer the phone to find your fruit has tested presumptive positive for Listeria monocytogenes? A quality assurance consultant for an apple producer who took just such a call tells his story.

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Improving food safety practices and better understanding the risks of Listeria are vital if the fresh produce industry is to prevent future fatalities and avoid costly product recalls or marketing halts.

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Microbiologist Dr Elizabeth Frankish is undertaking a project to assist growers and packers to minimise food safety risk by developing tools to help better understand and assess where microbial risk lies. Here she provides an update on the progress of the project.

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Orchard Management

Topics include: post-harvest physiology, storage technology, management, insights and analysis of the future retailer landscape in the apple and pear industry. Individuals with an interest in apple and pear cool store management, orchard owners and managers, advisers and marketers looking to update their post-harvest knowledge are encouraged to attend.

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As the temperatures in the orchard start to rise, AgFirst’s John Wilton looks at how to minimise sunburn, avoid nutrition-related problems and improve colour towards lifting quality and packouts at harvest.

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Growers recognise that delivering consistent high-quality produce is the key to inspiring purchase and arresting waning consumption. Consumer research commissioned by APAL, and carried out by Melbourne-based The Source, found that inconsistent quality was one of the main consumer concerns and barriers to purchase.

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Research & Development

For the past two and a half years, Susie Murphy White has been an Industry Project Manager for Pomewest, where she has established a reputation as the go-to technical expert among WA apple and pear growers.

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Snippets of the latest apple and pear research from all around the world compiled by Gordon Brown covering nursery and breeding; production; robotics; pests and diseases; post-harvest; and consumer interest.

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State reports

By |January 9th, 2019|Australian Fruitgrower|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and non-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.