Home' Grower : November 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- November 2011
By PETER BRADY
APLAN to quarantine
South Australia's key apple
and pear growing regions
from fireblight and other exotic
pests has been shelved in favour
of an education and awareness
campaign to improve public
understanding of the potential
approach" has been developed
after consultation with industry,
rather proceeding with
Agriculture Minister Michael
O'Brien's first choice of creating
buffers around hubs in the Lower
South East and Adelaide Hills,
and amending fruit fly exclusion
zone regulations in the Riverland.
While growers remain vehe-
mently opposed to the importa-
tion of New Zealand apples to
Australia, they believe quarantine
zones will be difficult to enforce.
Mr O'Brien, however, said he
would immediately introduce
them at the first sign of any
"Individual orchard owners
will have signage, which the
government will pay for, warn-
ing the public not to bring fruit
onto these properties without
authorisation because of the risk
of transferring disease to exist-
ing pest-free fr uit."
Mr O'Brien's announcement
follows almost two months of
intense negotiation between
growers, peak industry organi-
sations, government and
Meanwhile, Dean of Law at
Adelaide University John
Williams has warned that any
legislation to quarantine regions
of South Australia from the
importation of New Zealand
apples may be open to legal
challenge unless it is watertight
and stays clear of sections of the
constitution governing free
trade between states.
He believes the State
Government will be on shaky
ground if it moves to protect
apple and pear growing regions
by targeting interstate markets.
(NZ apples are more likely to
arrive at major ports in the east-
"They would then be in
breach of Section 92 of the
Constitution (which governs
free trade between states)," Prof
Signage to raise biosecurity profile
Growers, govt agree on campaign
Conference gets down to major citrus issues
INTERNATIONAL delegates at the
Citrus Australia Conference 2011
believed the big issues were
marketing and a changing industry
raising the bar on quality, according to
CA chief executive officer Judith
"Having good quality fruit out there
which will increase consumption and
create a higher value (are
paramount)," she said.
"Quality and standards are a key
issue, as some of our international
competitors now have regulated
export standards, and if we don't
look at this ourselves they will begin
to exceed our reputation."
Global food industry expert David
Hughes gave the keynote address at
the Barossa conference last month.
Emeritus Professor of Food
Marketing at the Imperial College
London, he gave an energetic
presentation Your role in the Global
Food Supply Chain.
The four-day program also hosted
international guest CEO of Citrus
Growers South Africa Justin
Chadwick, who described the task of
bringing consistency back into the
South African citrus industry after
The event, at the Wolf Bass
Function Centre last month, offered a
great opportunity to network and
discuss the state of the industry.
Other speakers at the conference
included Malcom McLean, Woolworths
Business Manager of Produce, 2011
Citrus Australia Ambassador and
director of 4 ingredients, Kim
McCosker and local celebrity chef and
entrepreneur Maggie Beer.
Full coverage in next month's SA
Prof David Hughes was
keynote speaker at the
LENSWOOD apple and pear
grower John Vickers (pictured,
centre, with growers Michael
Booth and Ashley Green)
believes putting up signage on
properties to make the public
aware of disease risk would
have positive outcomes.
"Rubbish bins, on the other
hand, would be an ongoing cost
to maintain and be ineffective,"
John, who grows apples and
pears on his 26-hectare
Aberdeen Orchards property,
says the State Government's
original plan to protect the
industry was well-intentioned.
"Unfortunately, the threat of
fireblight is still there. But I don't
think quarantine zones are
workable," he said.
Name: Terry Arharidis, owner, Arharidis Brothers,
Main business: Wholesale vegetables. Vegetables
grown include cucumbers , capsicum , tomatoes
Marketing: Up until three years ago, Arharidis
Brothers owned and operated a shop at the
Adelaide Produce Markets. It had been in the
family for 20 years. The decision was made to sell
the store and focus on expanding the growing
wholesale side of the business.
"We were very happy selling direct to the consumer
through the produce shop at the markets, but
decided that the best way for us to grow and expand
was in the wholesale market and we've been
concentrating our efforts there ever since," Terry said.
Arharidis Brothers now sells wholesale vegetables
nationwide. While the business does little in the
way of advertising or direct marketing, Terry says
building a strong reputation for quality and
reliability is "the best advertisement" as well as
building support through word-of-mouth and
"We are still involved with the Adelaide Produce
Markets and other industry associations, allowing
us to market our business and products to a broad
audience," he said.
Employees : Arharidis Brothers utilises seasonal
labour in peak growing periods, but the business
remains a family-run operation, with all members
pitching in, "keeping costs down and ensuring our
ongoing commitment to our clients is met".
Peak season is during summer when the families
harvest during the day, then sort the vegetables in
their shed and put into the cool room ready for
Business History: Arharidis Brothers was founded
by Terry's father in 1962, after he arrived from
Greece. The business has since expanded. The
company has maintained its involvement with APM.
Terry says Arharidis Brothers is in the process of
developing a 6-hectare vacant block owned by the
family in Virginia "to increase vegetable production
and meet growing wholesale demand".
While expansion into hydroponics is not on the
radar at present, Terry believes it could well be a
future direction for the company.
"We looked into hydro a couple of years ago and it
is something we are definitely interested in. We
may well revisit the idea in a few years, once the
next stage of our expansion is up and running."
Keys to success: Terry believes that being reliable
and building a strong report with distributors and
clients "is essential to longevity and success in the
wholesale fruit and vegetable business".
"Being located in the Adelaide Plains and a fruit fly
free environment is an advantage to us," he said.
"Ensuring best practice on and off farm, as well as
staying at the forefront of industry demands has
kept our business strong for almost 50 years."
Terry says constant communication is crucial.
"We are always in contact with our suppliers and
keep them well informed on any issues that may
arise," he said. Offering reliable, top-quality
products are "essential" to staying at the forefront
of customer demands.
Last chance Bill for growers
SENATOR Nick Xenophon's
Quarantine Amendment (Disallowing
Permits) Bill 2011 may provide
apple and pear growers with their
only hope of protection against
fireblight and other exotic diseases.
It was introduced in the last sitting
of Federal Parliament and is being
considered by the Rural Affairs and
Transport Committee, which should
report on the matter within the next
A spokesperson for Mr Xenophon
said if the legislation passed BA
would be required to table a
declaration and risk analysis of any
product it approved for
Parliament would then have the
opportunity "to scrutinise the permit
and move to disallow it" on the
basis of unacceptable risk.
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