With the federal government’s decision to not fund SPC Ardmona, Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) has expressed its support for fruit growers as they face the future.
“It’s a tough day for a lot of fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley who supply SPC Ardmona,” said Mr John Dollisson, Chief Executive Officer of APAL. “We will be doing everything we can to support our growers there to help them plan for their future in the wake of this news.”
“It’s also sad for Australian consumers who trust and enjoy Australian grown processed fruit and we hope that there will be a future for SPC even without government backing.
“Although consumers will always be able to buy fresh Australian Pears and Aussie Apples that are much loved too,” he added.
Around 90% of Australia’s pears and 40% of Australia’s apples are grown in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria, where the SPC factory is located.
“While we are disappointed with the government’s decision, we have to look to the future and create new opportunities for growers,” said Dollisson.
“For example, there is huge potential for growers to diversify their pear production, plant improved varieties and aim to export their fruit – to make their businesses and their orchards more competitive and profitable.”
APAL is helping to develop new pear varieties for Australian growers through its support for Prevar – a New Zealand based company that breeds and commercialises new types of fruit. Last year, APAL also established the Pear Steering Committee to find and identify ways to help pear growers.
“Australian growers could successfully export more pears and apples because our growers are known worldwide for producing clean green safe fruit, which is highly valued in many importing countries,” said Dollisson.
“APAL is already supporting growers to evaluate, explore and enter export markets, and we will make a special effort in supporting our Goulburn Valley growers to transform their production where they want to.”
“We hope the government will now look at other ways to support apple and pear growers so the industry can thrive and so we can continue to supply Australians and potentially the world with our world class fruit,” Dollisson concluded.
Any growers wishing to discuss their situation and seek help from APAL can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9329 3511.
03 9329 3511