This article was first published by Hort Innovation. Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) is a not-for-profit, grower-owned Research…
Australia produces a large range of apples, but among the most popular are Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Cripps Pink (sold internationally as Pink Lady), Fuji, and Gala.
There are now also many new apple varieties emerging on supermarket shelves that taste and look great including Jazz™, Bravo®, Kalei®, Eve™, Modi™, Envy™, Rockit™, Kanzi® and Yello™.
Australia has a proud history of cultivating new apple varieties, for example, the Granny Smith originated here in 1868 from a chance seedling propagated by Maria Ann Smith in Eastwood NSW, and the beloved Cripps Pink was bred by John Cripps in WA, who had the ingenious idea to cross a Golden Delicious and a Lady Williams, later becoming world renowned as the Pink Lady® brand of apples.
The southern hemisphere harvest season begins in January with great anticipation around early season apple varieties such as Royal Gala. The season comes to an end around May as later varieties, such as Cripps Pink, reach maturity. Consumers are able to enjoy locally grown varieties all year round thanks to excellence in cold storage technology which allows pack houses and retailers to successfully store fruit in optimum condition.
There are eight main types of pears that are grown in Australian: Beurré Bosc, Corella Forelle, Josephine de Malines, Packham’s Triumph, Red Anjou, Red Sensation, Williams’ Bon Chretien and Winter Nelis. Williams and Packhams are the most popular with many Williams being processed into canning fruit and Packhams mostly sold fresh. Packham pears are also Australia’s most popular export pear, now available under the Goulburn River Gold® brand.
Ninety per cent of Australia’s pears are grown in the Goulburn Valley where cool mild winters and sun-drenched summers provide optimal growing conditions. Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia also produce some pears. Pear pickings starts in January and they are available on the market soon after.