Post-harvest management for quality


Harvest is a busy time and with fruit flowing in, weather and prices changing daily and the need to make decisions quickly, it pays to have some background information to help assess the ramifications of those decisions fresh in mind.

A considerable amount of levy payer money goes into researching the impact of various post-harvest management techniques on managing post-harvest disorders and on optimising fruit quality.

Below are links to some of  the harvest-related information on APAL’s website:

Don’t forget harvest labour obligations

But first, a reminder that employing seasonal labour at harvest carries obligations to treat workers well and pay them a fair wage, whether you employ them directly or through a contract labour provider. Every year there are reports of seasonal workers being underpaid or treated badly. This reflects badly on the whole industry and tarnishes the image of Australian apples and pears.

If in doubt, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website has information on –

Harvest Trail campaign – What growers need to know about labour hire, tips for backpackers and information on piece rates and minimum wages.

Contracting labour and supply chains – including the concept of ‘accessorial liability‘ under which businesses may be held legally responsible when their contractor (or subcontractor) is underpaying their staff.

Fruit Growers Victoria website sets out obligations and advice, including that members can use rates set by the organisation’s Industrial Services committee.

Goulburn Valley-based MADEC harvest Officer Reginna Vasi sets out some great information on Best practices around managing harvest labour for fruit growers


Post-harvest quality management

Post-harvest Fruit Maturity Management – summary of presentations at the 2016 Post-Harvest Seminar

Using SmartFresh with Pears – Dr Hannah James, AgroFresh Research and Development Manager Australia/New Zealand, spoke at the 2016 Post-Harvest Seminar about the different approaches required when using SmartFresh on pears to ensure a consistent consumer-ready pear.

Post-harvest quality – slowing down the ticking clock – The impact of Nutrition, fruit maturity and climatic conditions on the quality of apples post-harvest are discussed here by Dr Hannah James.

Post-harvest management for optimum fruit quality – Dr Virginia Williamson discusses the maturity index meter and modelling to optimise pre- and post-harvest apple quality.



Fruit Growers Victoria:

Packham Pear Maturity testing results by Growers’ Services Manager Michael Crisera 12 Feb, 2018)

Buerre Bosc maturity test results by Growers’ Services Manager Michael Crisera 12 Feb, 2018)

Williams Pear Maturity article by Growers’ Services Manager Michael Crisera (31 Jan, 2018)

Harvest labour management

Labour-saving techniques and improving harvest efficiency – series of articles on improving harvest efficiency



About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and not-for-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.