Home' Grower : February 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- February 2012
Citrus growers eager for
Syngenta marketing manager Craig
Thompson with EE Muir & Sons post-
harvest consultant, Adelaide, Seamus
THE 2011 Citrus Australia Conference was held at Wolf Blass
Visitor Centre, Nuriootpa, late last year. Two-hundred delegates
were eager to engage in discussion about the future of the
industry. For the first time, directors from the board of CA took
turns to chair sessions. The gala dinner was a highlight of the
event and SA Grower's MIKE LAMOND attended.
Lessons learnt about consumer importance hold key to industry's future
By GREG SWEETNAM
THE Australian citrus industry will use the
lessons learnt during 12 months of poor
returns to focus on an expected watershed
Chairperson of Citrus Australia Tania
Chapman said 2012 was already shaping up
as a very busy year that would deliver
improved marketing and restructuring
through grower input to ensure better value
was delivered for every levy dollar collected.
With 50,000 navel and valencia orange trees
in production on 141 hectares, about 50
kilometres south of Mildura, she said the
recent annual conference provided real focus
for the industry.
Key to the year would be better
understanding of consistent marketing of the
quality product to the public and getting the
structure of the industry right.
"As an industry we need to understand our
markets and need to know what the
consumer wants," Ms Chapman said.
"There's a lot more involved in marketing
the industry for the grower than just good
"We have always been focused on growing
the best fruit we can but we can't be just
focused on that anymore. Growers need to
better understand the consumer."
The industry is worth $540 million in
Australia and represents the interests of
around 2000 citrus growers.
"We have to convince our growers that it's
not all about getting the big dollars at the
beginning of the season," Ms Chapman said.
"If one consumer gets one bad piece of fruit
they don't come back for six weeks, or they
have a break from buying citrus for about
"All the research and data we have suggest
they take that long on average to come back.
"All our growers have to do is when their
fruit appears to be ready is test it before they
start picking and packing and sending it to
A highlight of 2011 was the industry's first
national citrus week which created a media
frenzy as growers gave away quality fruit to
highlight the bumper crop and depressed
prices produced by record rainfall with
240,000 tonnes of citrus -- 60,000 tonnes
more than 2010 -- harvested in Australia.
The high Australian dollar also saw exports
This media attention will be used in 2012 to
continue to gain coverage for citrus and
spread the message that Australia produces
some of the best fruit in the world and it's
worth getting more often than consumers buy
now -- an average of every third trip to the
-- courtesy Good Fruit & Vegetables
Colour Visions Systems' Lou Acevski and
Ian Madden keep in contact with the
Agrichem's Joshua Cordoma, Bill Ambaras and Bec
Perry represented the company.
Event manager Citrus Australia Susie Mills
with former test cricketer Max Walker and
Citrus Australia's 2011 Citrus Ambassador
and 4 Ingredients founder Kim McCosker.
Bayer CropScience's Mark
Goldsack with Waikerie citrus
grower John Cox.
Favco'a Joel Sheehan, Brisbane Markets, with
Adrian Walsh, Chep Australia.
Rod Sloan and Ian Perryman, AgVantage, enjoyed
the comraderie at the conference.
Adrian Chapman, Colignan Producers, Coligan, with
Nick Hall, Nufarm, SA.
Melpat International's Melanie and Hamish
Turner with Andrew Meurant, Elders,
For further information visit our website at www.spagnolo.com.au or contact:
Phone: (03) 5021 1933 -- Fax: (03) 5021 5233 -- Email: sales @spagnolo.com.au -- Mildura, Victoria Australia
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