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Pome Projects 2017/2018

New Zealand Study Tour January 2018

For the first time Pomewest is supporting a grower study tour to New Zealand. Susie Murphy White our project manager, has recognised the value of the association with APAL’s Future Orchards and believes there is much to gain by building on those relationships.

Utilising the linkages with the AgFirst NZ consultants, a study tour has been organised for a small group of WA growers (10 – 20) to visit orchards in the Hawkes Bay and Nelson Pome fruit growing regions. Also in the program is a visit to the Prevar Research Centre in Hawkes Bay for growers to see the selection process involved in the development of new varieties such as Jazz and Smitten.

Of value to our growers is the technology transfer process in witnessing growing systems, varieties, technology including mechanical assistance and to learn about the export process. As this region is geared towards export, which the WA Pome fruit industry can learn from the NZ export experience.

NZ Study Tour Presentation

Final Report NZ Study Tour

Commercialisation Project - ANABP 01 Variety

Commencing in 2011 with FFS funding this project has been created to empower WA growers to be price setters and manage the development and adoption of new varieties from the Australian National Apple Breeding Program. This will improve grower profitability and ongoing future investment for WA industry via royalty revenue streaming.

Fruit West Cooperative Website

The Committee, through Fee for Service, has continued to fund the Fruit West Co-operative  (FWCL), appointed managers of the commercialisation of the variety and BRAVO™ apple, and ensured the success of the fruit from first year of production.  After 20 years in the making, the well anticipated fruit from the ANABP 01 variety was named in 2016, trademarked as BRAVO™ branded apple and launched.  Packing and marketing services were also engaged, efforts surrounding developing high quality specifications ensured the fruit would sit as a premium line in the retail market.

Funding also supported the launch of BRAVO™ with a Ministerial name launch at Parliament House along with wide spread and prolonged media coverage and ongoing retail launches in premium outlets.

The major outcomes have created an excellent consumer reaction to the apple, ensured high grower returns for the pioneer growers and in turn created consumer and grower demand. Other outcomes include the development of new plantings and tree production along with engaging with growers Australia wide building confidence in the variety. Ongoing consultation with Western Australian Agriculture Authority has continued to improve agreements and practises along the way, including several research and development projects measuring maturity along with storage research.

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Effect of Dormancy Breakers in Low Chill Environments

Dormancy breaker trial expands on from the work undertaken in the HIA funded AP12029 ‘Understanding apple and pear production systems in a changing climate’ in 2015/16 season Dormancy Breaking Sprays on Galaxy and ANABP 01. This trial included four cultivars to be trialled at multiple timings to test the effect of dormancy breaking sprays (3 variables) and how timing of application effects flowering. It would enable the analysis of polliniser cultivars to ensure that suitable polliniser apple trees would be flowering at the correct times when using dormancy breakers.

Dormancy Breaker Results

Dormancy Breaker in low Chill Years Aug 17

Winter Chill 2018

Research and Development

Testing of WA bred apples bred under the Australian National Breeding Program is ongoing. It is the intention to continue this work for a tangible outcome which enhances marketability benefits to the industry and in turn increased consumption.


A recent development to our communications strategy enabled Pomewest to contribute to the WA Grower quarterly magazine produced by Vegetables WA. This benefits our members to be updated on Pomewest activities and project outcomes but also has the added advantage of cross industry information which covers many common issues.

We also continue to email important messages to our members via our email distribution list. This gives us the opportunity to keep members up to date on a day by day basis.

View our latest newsletters here

Industry Sponsorship and Promotions

Pomewest will continue to fund requests for sponsorships such as the Karragullen Expo, Donnybrook Apple Festival, Southern Forrest Food Council, Constable Care Programs and Health events as they are requested.

Consultants Fresh Finesse continue to promote fruit in various activities including school programs, seasonal media and our major promotional event the Perth Royal Show in the ‘Walk through WA’ pavilion featuring WA regional produce.   

This year Pomewest has added social media to our promotional program, with our WA Apples and Pears pages now on Facebook and Instagram.  We have an increasing number of followers and are now able to tell great stories about WA providence and our beautiful produce being directed straight to the consumer in real time.

This year we are looking to advance promotions by looking at produce competitions, sponsorships and interaction with the national programs via sponsorship and the positioning of an apple ambassador fruit program for Netball Australia.

2017 Promotional Activities

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Maturity Standards Project

The Western Australian pome fruit industry has been funding quality program work over recent years to deliver improved quality to consumers and to build better business capability and profitability for members. Ashmere Consultants has built on this work, and in the last two years enabled the Western Australian pome fruit industry to establish minimum maturity standards for three varieties of apples set to commence in 2017. The expected outcomes from the project are an improved program of development for the maturity standards for three apple varieties, Royal Gala, Granny Smith and Pink Lady. The maturity data will be used as a basis for proposed legislated maturity standards to be included in the BAM Act similar to Western Australia table grapes and citrus standards. The development of maturity standards for three apple varieties will benefit industry and ensure a legislated approach to allow industry to deliver a consistent supply of high quality product to consumers.

Proposed Minimum Maturity Standards 2018 Table

New Technology Project

The new technology project includes a number of project areas that seek to improve on ground adoption of new technologies to be used within the pome fruit industry. These projects include;

organising a grower study tour to New Zealand in January 2018, coordination, communication and extension of industry events and information, crop estimates including fruit size monitoring,  and Front Line Advisor for APAL’s Future Orchards project co-ordinating Orchards Walks, demonstration sites and collecting data on the focus orchard for WA.To find out when the next orchard walk is click on the button below:

Market Access – Fruit Fly Surveillance Trapping

High quality pest surveillance data is of key importance for retaining market access, both interstate and with international trading partners. Surveillance for specific pests is often carried out by state or territory departments of primary industries or independent parties. However, industry-driven surveillance is becoming an important tool in proving regional, area, or state freedom from pests of quarantine concern. The extent of surveillance that is necessary is highly specific to each importing country or state. Export approval can often depend on the major primary industries in that country, the importing country’s pest status and the level of assurance needed by that country to be confident about importing Australian produce.

The Pomewest Committee believe industry have identified the need to protect existing markets and gain new export markets. To achieve this Ashmere Consultants have been engaged to demonstrate that orchard surveillance programs capture pest numbers throughout the season and they also have documented pre and postharvest control measures in place to prove Area of Low Pest Prevalence (ALPP) trading status. A proactive Medfly surveillance program is both a useful pest control tool and insurance policy to maintain and gain markets for the Western Australian pomefruit industry.

Systems Approach to Market Access

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Flavonoid Project

Commencing in 2014/2015 this project is funded in conjunction with DAFWA, APAL, ARC and Pomewest. The objective of this project is to accelerate the development and release of Australian-bred apples with superior nutritional qualities. Findings include the prevention of heart disease via the lowering of blood pressure and increasing blood vessel function as a result of ingesting the skin of apples containing high flavonoids levels.

Apple Flavonoids and Human Health

Codling Moth

Pomewest continues to fund the monitoring of Codling Moth and supported, along with other grower groups, the recent eradication of Qfly and reinstatement of Area Freedom in WA. Pomewest continue to engage with the relevant statutory organisations with the future biosecurity strategies and developments and ongoing funding structures.