Home' Grower : November 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- November 2011
with WALLY SPARROW
Housing development on rich horticultural land in SA should be a
thing of the past as food security become a major issue.
L(then) Agriculture Minister
Michael O'Brien (now Finance
Minister) for his outstanding defence
of the apple and pear industry.
He struck yet again not long after,
saying in Parliament (as I have said
many times) that development of
housing on valuable horticulture land
at Mount Barker should never have
Once again, the former ag Minister
gets full marks. But where was he, and
his colleagues, when this stupid deci-
sion was made?
There has been a lot of discussion on
the subject of food security, however
both our State and Federal
Governments have failed to even
think about it, let alone put in place
measures to keep productive land in
Good water and fresh food pro-
duced locally will be the future of our
sur vival in Australia, yet they are so far
down the priority list it is ridiculous.
If we don't eat, we die, and who will
pay the carbon tax then?
I was talking to a good friend recent-
ly who set my mind wandering in a
We are certainly in big trouble with
the sale of good productive land and
the mismanagement of our water-
ways, however, have you ever thought
about the physical waste of good,
first-class food between the grower
and the consumer?
I have spent several days asking this
question and I am convinced the aver-
age is about 40 per cent.
ing population this is one area we
have to seriously look at.
The Japanese have looked at this
same problem and statistically come
up with a figure of about 37 per cent,
just at the processing stage.
Where are we losing such a large
proportion of our crop, you might
Some of it is on the farm because of
climatic conditions, disease and lack of
government support -- another argu-
The biggest part is in transport and
marketing. The transport area is
improving but has a long way to go.
These people are not diesel jockeys,
they make their living getting your
crop to market on time and in good
We really need to improve quality in
this area, which is the responsibility of
The existence of a duopoly market,
consisting of Coles and Woolworths,
is criminal. These people control our
Example: I have a great crop of let-
tuce to offer you. But we (duopoly)
are only paying $0.50 cents this week
( less than cost-of-production).
Oh, and there's grub damage -
dump it! Your produce arrived 30
minutes late (Adelaide to Brisbane in
floods), we don't want it!
You can't win.
How many crops go interstate and
end up in the dump or are sent back
to Melbourne and then back to
Adelaide produce are ploughed back
into the ground because they were
not worth picking?
But I have recently sighted invoices
that show freshly grown SA navel
crops being sorted and a proportion
credited as zero. Why would a grow-
er send this product to a processor?
The Riverland is becoming a dump
for unsaleable oranges and this hap-
pens year-in and year-out.
If we are going to be able to feed
our ever-increasing population and
the world , this is one area we need to
seriously consider .
The Prime Minister needs to have a
good look at the carbon footprint,
and where all this wastage is leading
Diesel for soil and crop preparation,
employees coming to work, har vest-
ing fuel and storage, packaging costs,
transport to market, dumping costs,
fertiliser and chemical manufacture,
government people travelling and
lunching -- with no obvious benefit --
and finally loss to the food chain
through total inefficiency.
I haven't got the answer to the
problem, but I can tell you that,
unless it receives some form of gov-
ernment priority, we will end up hun-
Mining is great, but without food
we will end up in the proverbial creek!
It is time the growers regained their
rights and if I can help or you want to
send me up that creek ring me on
0419 591 894 or send abuse on
New standard tests olive industry labels
THE Australian Olive Association Ltd
recently organised the testing of 30 olive
oils on store/supermarket shelves to see
how they rated against the recently
introduced Australian Standard AS5264-
2011. Most of these products would
have been distributed before the
introduction of the standard.
Twenty-two claimed to be extra virgin
(EVOO group) and eight were labelled Pure,
Olive Oil, Light, Extra Light (refined group).
Of the 22 oils in the EVOO group,
seven were imported oils and 15 were
Of the seven imported oils, three
displayed some element of rancidity and
two were classed as 'fusty'. Three had
either incorrect 'best before dates' or
none. Consequently, the imported oils
were not compliant with AS 5264-2011.
Of the 15 Australian oils, 11 were
compliant. Of the four remaining, two
had traces of rancidity and one was
musty. Three of them lacked a lot ID or
had an incorrect best before dates.
Two of the Australian oils not seen as
compliant with the AS were code of
practice signatories. One had mild
rancidity and the other an incorrect best
before date. The matter is being taken
up with the companies involved as per
the CoP protocol.
Of the eight in the refined group, all
were found to have some level of
rancidity, seven did not declare a best
before date and the one that did was not
compliant with the standard.
AOA says the industry is in a transition
phase and it will take time for all oils to
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TEL. (08) 8389 8233 Fax (08) 83898133
Lobethal Rd. & Cold Store Rd. Lenswood S.A. 5240
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