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Pome Projects 2018/2019

Commercialisation for WA

To commercialise and develop ANABP 01 into Australia’s No.2 branded apple following the Pink Lady, in terms of production and presence in international markets for Australia’s growers.

The vision is to see a transformational Western Australian and broader Australian apple industry sustained by grower profitability through premium returns based on a rejuvenated export industry supporting a strong domestic market.

Markers, Markets and Validated Nutritional Qualities of Australian Apples

In 2008, Dr Michael Considine established a pathway of research into the opportunity to promote consumption and value of Australian-bred apples through validating and targeting the dietary health benefits of current and future varieties from DAFWA’s Australian National Apple Breeding Program (ANABP). Throughout this time he has coordinated the various dimensions with an excellent team of plant, medical and market researchers, and have reported progress to the WA industry and public through peer-reviewed journals, media interviews, industry newsletters and intensive workshops. The team have been successful in attracting public funding for this research to date, however the present project (Horticulture Innovation Australia) is near the end. There is a need to maintain the momentum of this research, particularly towards outcomes related to Pink Lady and the Bravo apple, as well as work towards more efficient selection of elite WA apples, and more generally to the health qualities of fresh WA fruit.

There will be a retention of the key research momentum that has been established over the past eight years.

The underlying goal of both lines of research is to increase consumption and value of WA-bred and grown apples.

The program would focus on two lines of research primarily:

  • Validation of the dietary effects of WA-bred apples on cardiovascular health
  • Developing metabolic and genetic markers to identify WA-bred apples with elite levels of quercetin, and underpin marker-assisted breeding.

Codling Moth

The aim of the project is to provide a system that will detect an incursion of codling moth into WA.

This project has been happening for many years now and this is a continuation of the existing project.

WA is one of the very few places in the world that is free from codling moth so pome fruit producers can gain a market access advantage and do not need to apply pesticides for control of the pest.

Through early detection the chances of successful eradication are increased and the costs of carrying out an eradication campaign are reduced. Through placing codling moth traps on every commercial pome fruit property each season the chances of early detection of codling moth are increased.

Communications

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.

Pomewest updates its members on current projects and current industry information at Summit events.

Industry Summit 14th September 2018

Adoption of New Technology Project

This adoption of new technology officer would be in a position to provide a dedicated skill set to address industry needs, concerns and opportunities.  A flexible delivery of extension services that meet grower needs would encourage the adoption of new technologies and enable growers to meet their export potential through the pome fruit growing regions of WA.

This position would see a dedicated WA based skill set based within the pome fruit growing region with a highly valued skill set. The person would be able to lead and undertake innovative means of coordinated delivery of extension services.

Market Access Projects

Project 1 – Apple disinfestation for market accessLiaise with DPIRD in WA and DAFF in QLD to obtain data for collaborative assessment. It is proposed to collect, collate and analyse available fruit fly data and other quarantine pest data and develop a package for market access negotiations.

Project 2 – Apple quality in the cold chainTo assess apple quality in the cold chain at four points to see which areas of storage affect quality.Pome growers must show their products are able to maintain quality in transport during export to other countries.

Project 3 – Developing a national systems approach for meeting biosecurity requirements to access key Asian Markets.Currently, most horticultural trade of hosts of important pests (such as fruit fly) rely on exporters demonstrating that the commodity comes from an area that is free of pests and diseases (area freedom) or applying an agreed, stringent end-point treatment.  Such end-point treatments are often costly, can negatively impact quality and may often be avoidable if other risk mitigation factors were accepted by importing countries.

Project 4 – Export Competitiveness Grant (ECG) (Over 2 years)Cold chain disinfestation and quality management of Bravo™ apples for market accessWest Australian apples cannot access quarantine restricted markets such as Japan and China due to lack of treatments for medfly.  Existing cold storage disinfestation research is insufficient.  This project will collect, collate and analyse relevant available data and develop a program of work on disinfestation and fruit quality on existing and new varieties intended for export, using static and in-transit treatment methods.

Maturity Standards Legislation and Compliance

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.

Innovative Orchardist Group Project

The project would provide our innovative orchardists’ opportunities to connect with others involved in the Pome Industry. Participating in grower groups is an essential part of the orchard technology transfer process necessary in the WA Pome Fruit Industry.

To keep the enthusiasm and momentum gained from the NZ study tour going amongst the young growers who participated and encourage other innovative growers to join the group. The group is about creating enthusiasm and positivity in the pome industry and learning new innovative ways of producing high quality fruit. It is not limited by age, participants just need to want to make innovative changes on their orchards and strive to make the Pome Industry in WA a vibrant and prosperous place to be actively involved.

Medfly Surveillance, Trapping Network

Pomewest Surveillance Trapping Network – 2 year extension of Medfly trapping surveillance network – Donnybrook to Bridgetown.

The current Pomewest Surveillance Trapping Network includes Manjimup and Pemberton. The existing 180 traps in this area will now form a part of an expended pest tapping surveillance network (for fruit flies and moths) as part of the five year DPIRD-Pomewest ‘Systems Approach’ project for improved market access in the region.

Extension of the current Pomewest Medfly trapping surveillance network project after September 2017 targeting the area between Donnybrook and Bridgetown will allow continued collection of Medfly trapping data to ensure this region has a solid 3-year data set (the minimum data set required by national and international market access trade negotiators).

The Pomewest Medfly data set will benefit industry with the knowledge of Medfly prevalence in the area, it will identify Medfly hotspots that require attention and will strengthen industry’s future market access or export strategies and plans. The completed data set could also be used for improved or new market access negotiations.

Promotion and Publicity Local Project

Fresh Finesse managed by Pomewest will work cooperatively but independently of any national campaign to focus on building the loyalty of local apples in the minds and hearts of consumers. This will also involve a promotion of local and regional brands recognising that local consumers identify growers and brands in their state.

Aligning with the Pomewest Strategic Plan to promote pome fruit within WA including support of community and health building activities as they present during the year.

Value of project: Raising profiles and increasing demand for pome fruit to improve producer and supply chain profitability.  WA activities will extend the strategies previously initiated via the Aussie Apples marketing campaign and in particular incorporating the target groups and themes.

Baseline Fungicide Resistance – Apple Scab

Apple scab, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, has been present in WA for several years, but distribution is restricted. This is partially due to the regular application of fungicides, slowing the spread of the disease within the state. However, the resilience on fungicides for control from the same mode of action group increases the likelihood of resistance developing. This is of concern as V. inaequalis is considered by world authorities to be ranked in the top 12 organisms for developing fungicide resistance.

The aim of this project is to develop an understanding as to the baseline level of key fungicides within the WA population of apple scab to provide growers with knowledge about the efficacy of their current programs.

This project will provide apple growers direct information as to whether their current spray programs for apple scab are still providing effective control or whether other options need to be investigated. Isolates will be placed in storage for reference material to be used in future work as new chemistries are developed and registered. The project will help establish a direct link between the apple industry and researchers leading fungicide resistance research at the national level. This interaction will provide the apple industry with access to fungicide resistance management tools already developed for other crops. All data will be coded so as individual orchards will be unidentifiable.

Apple Scab APC project 2018