Home' Grower : June 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- June 2010
Lenswood Coldstores Co-op general manager Michael Cox in front of the pre-sizer which sorts
the apples into specific classifications.
A $5.5m investment at Lenswood Coldstores Co-op for state-of-the-art infrastructure depends
on Fed Govt quarantine laws adequately protecting high-quality product.
failed to declare the presence of
Drosophila suzukii -- a vinegar fly
endemic in Asia and recently found in
North America and Europe -- when
applying for access to Australian markets.
"We have taken this up with
Biosecurity Australia and Apple & Pear
Australia Ltd has made representations
in regard to the Import Risk Analysis
process," he said.
"The taskforce is questioning
fumigation issues surrounding Drosophila
suzukii, which exists under the surface of
the skins, and the checks and balances in
the 12 provinces from which apples from
China would be imported."
The taskforce was also concened about
declared pests -- apricot weevil, yanyuan
scale, citrophilus mealy bug, sooty blotch
flyspeck -- which had caused major
problems in other countries, particularly
in softer fruits.
Mr Stafford said the government
should not underestimate consumer fears
about the erosion of food security.
"People realise farming is under severe
financial pressure and that we are losing
producers at a rapid rate ... and that our
position as a food bowl is being
somewhat eroded," he said.
"If you lose farmers, you lose food
Mr Stafford said investment into the
industry's carbon footprint and food
labelling issues also had to be considered
in the context of imports from China
"We have quality assurance to comply
with -- is that the case in China?"
Mr Stafford said LCCSL had spent
about $5.5m upgrading plant and
machinery at its state-of-the-art packing
Like similar operations in SA and
Australia, this had been undertaken to
make the business competitive and
Mr Stafford said a major disease threat
could have "significant ramifications" for
the industry as a whole and undermine
decades of investment.
The Import Risk Analysis Appeals
Panel will deliver its findings on
submissions by June 16 to the appellants
(see story p2). IRAAP had considered that
two of five appeals "provide evidence
that warrant consideration by a panel".
WTO report remains 'confidential'
China fails to declare pest
Major investments in danger
AT A GLANCE
Foot-and-mouth parallel drawn
THE prospect that apples from
China -- which already imports
fresh pears -- will be competing
with homegrown fruit by the
end of the year is one that
general manager of Apple and
Pear Growers Association of SA
Greg Cramond finds disturbing.
"What we have before us is
the WTO handing down a
document on the import of NZ
apples to Trade Minister Simon
Crean and his counterpart," he
"But while he is saying
details are confidential, NZ
growers clearly believe the
decision has come down in
Mr Cramond said imports of
apples from NZ or China should
not be allowed into Australia.
And he has first-hand
experience, as a farm manager
in North America in the early
1980s, of fireblight devastating
60 million trees.
"They use the parallel (that
fireblight) is the foot-and-
mouth of the apple industry,"
"It's wiped out apple and
pear production in many
regions of the world."
Fireblight attacks the open
areas of trees, including
'pollination tubes' that allow
fertilisation. It also attacks trees
through cuts that could be
caused by hail or physical
"Interestingly, varieties such
as gala, fuji, pink lady -- the
most economical to plant -- are
the most susceptible," Mr
"You can attempt to prune out
infected sites or apply
antibiotics, but I suspect you
wouldn't be able to get them
registered quickly enough
and there are some human
health implications about
exposure to antibiotics."
Mr Cramond said if NZ was
granted access to Australian
markets, it could be 2012, or
longer, before it exported any
"While I am not certain they
will get the go ahead, we still
have major biosecurity issues,"
"If it's affirmative and the
government doesn't appeal, we
will still go back to Biosecurity
SA industry statistics
Production: 29,000 tonnes annually
(9 per cent of Aust output)
Trees: 1.2 million
Farmgate value: $58m/year (approx)
Growers: 250-300 (100 primary,
remainder mixed enterprises)
Exports: United Kingdom, Malaysia, India,
Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Singapore
Locations: Adelaide Hills (Lenswood,
Forest Range), Riverland (Loxton),
Limestone Coast (Kalangadoo, Mount
Gambier, O.B. Flat).
Production: 6000t/yr (4pc Aust output)
Farmgate value: $9.2m/yr
Growers: 100 (approx)
Exports: Minor access to markets as per
Locations: Adelaide Hills (Paracombe,
Lenswood, Coromandel Valley, Ashbourne),
Riverland (various towns), Limestone Coast
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