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Pear Masterclass kicks off, full program confirmed

Research & Extension

A successful Session 1 of APAL’s 2021 Pear Masterclass has just wrapped up. 

More than 40 attendees tuned in to hear from Angelica Cameron (Bugs for Bugs) on IPM strategies in pear orchards.

Introducing IPM as ‘an approach, not a recipe’, Angelica’s presentation touched on various topics, such as the difference between IPM and pesticide resistance strategies and the importance of creating the right environment to encourage beneficials, including fostering biodiversity and using pesticides in a way that minimises harm.

After Angelica presented the science behind the strategy, the webinar then turned to real-world examples from Brent Reeve and Jason Shields, showing how the transition to IPM could be managed successfully in pear orchards.

Nearly 70 per cent of growers responded to the live webinar poll to say that they already used some form of IPM in their pear orchard.

The full webinar will be available online soon. 

Session 2: International Pear-spectives

How do the orchards of Australia compare to pear-orchards abroad? 

Technical insights from both local orchards and South African growers

The technical deep-dive of Session 2 (Wednesday, 13 October) will begin with a presentation on local growing approaches: 

  • Nic Finger (Fruit Help) with Matthew Lenne at Calimna Orchards, Goulburn Valley 
  • Susie Green (Susie Green Consulting) with Rohan Gilmour at Gilmour Orchards, South Australia   

Then we will move into the orchards of South Africa, with a virtual orchard walk and talk featuring insights from: 

  • De Kock (Hammies) Hamman, Technical Advisor, Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty.) Ltd.  
  • Heinrich Kemp, Product Co-ordinator, Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty.) Ltd.  
  • Willie Kotze, Technical Advisor, Du Toit Group (Pty.) Ltd.  
  • Graeme Krige, General Manager, Fruitmax Agri (Pty.) Ltd. – part of the Two-a-Day group  
  • Christo Strydom, General Manager, Wolseley Fruit Packers (Pty.) Ltd. 

This will be followed by a Q&A panel with Peter Allderman (Pome Fruit Manager, TopFruit, South Africa), Michael Crisera (FGV) and Marcel Veens (Horticultural Consultant). 

Register for Session 2 of the Pear Masterclass on Eventbrite. 

Session 3: Market export opportunities

What are the export opportunities for pears?

APAL’s Jenny Van de Meeberg (Head of Trade) and Justin Smith (Industry Services and Export Manager) will lead a discussion of current and emerging export opportunities for Australian pear growers. 

Jenny said this session will provide a valuable update to industry knowledge about pear export opportunities, broadening horizons about potential profitability in unprecedented times. 

“COVID-19 has changed the marketplace,” Jenny said. “This session gives growers some clear analysis of what the current global footprint for pear trade looks like, based on recent data analysis.   

“We can see that domestic demand is fairly stagnant for pears, so to grow the pear industry we need to empower growers to engage with export markets that are already open and ready to trade. The long-term strategy is to gain access to new markets but there are significant opportunities to explore in the present.”  

Jenny said the Q&A discussion will allow growers to share their opinions and provide feedback on the challenges and barriers to export.  

“We want this session to be the beginning of a conversation with growers as we move forward and develop export together,” Jenny said. 

Register for Session 3 of the Pear Masterclass on Eventbrite. 

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