While it is tempting to be the first provider of fresh new season apples to market it is important growers do not pick their apples before they are perfectly ripe and ready.
“Apples that are picked too soon, run the risk of being undersized and unripe,” says APAL’s Market Development Manager Claire Fitchett.
“It’s tempting to pick apples like Granny Smiths early to fill pack orders designed for children because they are a small size. But when Granny Smiths are picked early they are very sour and unpalatable – especially for kids!”
“The end result of this sort of behaviour is customers not returning to purchase apples, so in the long term it reduces apples sales and it is hard to win consumers back after they have had a bad apple experience. Our research shows it can take up to 8 weeks for consumers to start buying apples again”
APAL recommends growers be patient and harvest their apples only when the fruit is mature, because the sale of immature fruit can damage the entire industry.
“It’s looking like overall that it will be a great season for apples, so there is no reason to rush harvest,” Claire adds.
Over the coming weeks, Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) will send quality guidelines to each packhouse in Australia. The guidelines include maturity, brix, pressure and appearance parameters for each major variety. Sticking to these guidelines will ensure consumers get a great Aussie Apple, every time! The guidelines will soon be available on the APAL website.