The Victorian Government’s new vision for Australia’s largest apple and pear growing region – the Goulburn Valley – has received enthusiastic support from Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL), the peak industry body for apple and pear growers nationwide.
On 4 March 2014, Victoria’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan launched the Goulburn Valley Fruit Growing Industry Roadmap.
“The Roadmap sets out to increase fruit production and profitability, foster innovation and sustainability, build knowledge, increase competitiveness of the fruit processing sector and improve access to export markets,” says APAL Chief Executive Officer John Dollisson.
“It is also great to see a long term vision and commitment to the region which builds on the modernisation of irrigation infrastructure over the last 5 years.”
“APAL is committed to realising the vision of the Roadmap as it aligns closely with our own vision for the apple and pear industry nationwide – to boost profitability for growers through innovative products, smart orchard management and increasing production for exports.”
Around 90% of Australia’s pears and 30% of Australia’s apples are grown in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria.
“The Victorian Government has recognised the importance of the Goulburn Valley region in regards to national fruit production and has seen the opportunity for growth and further development to make it even bigger and better in the future,” says Dollisson.
“We’re excited to see that the financial support for SPC provided by the Victorian Government is being backed up by this much broader industry vision that will effectively support growers and the industry to upgrade to improve their own profitability and capitalise on market opportunities, including exports.”
The Goulburn Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund, which was announced last year, will provide grants to the value of $5 million to support the Roadmap.
Grants will support projects that create jobs, facilitate critical enabling infrastructure development, integrate supply chains, increase efficiency and productivity of existing infrastructure, and improve manufacturing processes so that businesses are more productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable.
“The apple and pear industry looks forward to working with the government to realise a joint long term vision for the Goulburn Valley for apples and pears,” concludes Dollisson.