Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program (APFIP)

The Australian Pome Fruit Improvement Program® Ltd (APFIP) was established in 1997 and provides the Australian apple and pear industries with three main services:

  • Certification of propagating material varieties and rootstocks to help remove known viruses from plant germplasm.
  • Independent evaluation of new varieties.
  • Represent the apple industry in matters that relate to quarantine and the introduction of new varieties.

A key role of APFIP is to liaise with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on quarantine matters to ensure the industry is adequately protected from exotic disease. It works to reduce post entry quarantine periods to ensure Australia’s international competitiveness is not impacted.

APFIP has also introduced a tree procurement service. The service helps growers foster better relationships with their nurseries and provide greater understanding on how to plan ahead to get the best quality trees.

APFIP’s variety evaluation program has provided the industry with independent data on 139 varieties to support growers in making better planting decisions. Identification of new varieties that perform poorly in a range of climates has been a key outcome of the program. This saves growers the major investment related to planting a poor performing variety.


APFIP was established in February 1997 by the Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association Inc (AAPGA) for the benefit of the Australian pome fruit industry. In late 2002 AAPGA became Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL).

APFIP is a not-for-profit company with a board of directors who work in the pome fruit or nursery industries. A levy is paid by apple and pear growers to fund APFIP’s activities – this is administered by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (Hort Innovation). Hort Innovation also  provides matching funding to the grower levy for APFIP’s ongoing operations.

Over the past 10 or more years APAL has developed considerable expertise and knowledge in the area of product management specifically through its global Pink Lady® business. Also during this time, APFIP has developed complementary skills in variety evaluation, certification, quarantine and intellectual property protection through plant breeder’s rights and plant patents. To get the best out of this resource and knowledge for the industry the Board’s of APFIP and APAL initiated discussions in 2007. These discussions culminated in the completion of an agency agreement between APFIP and APAL on 31 July 2008. This agreement details the management of APFIP in the period up to the end of the current APFIP R&D project that will end in 2016.

This process resulted in changes to the members and numbers on the APFIP Board. There are now nine Directors on the APFIP Board and they are the same directors as the APAL Board. The Board is responsible for the governance of APFIP including finance, policy and regulatory reporting.

APFIP works cooperatively with all pome fruit industry sectors in Australia and is guided by the following objectives;

  • To facilitate an efficient entry of pome fruit propagation material with characteristics that will benefit the commercial potential for production in Australia;
  • To develop and promote independent evaluation of propagation material for the pome fruit industry in Australia;
  • To develop and promote standards for material that will assist the international competitiveness of the Australian pome fruit industry.

News and reports

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