Home' Grower : November 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- November 2012
2012 Citrus Australia National Conference
Delegates catch-up for
WHILE delegates went about with the serious business of discussing
growing, marketing and quarantine at the Citrus Australia National
Conference at Leeton, networking and catching-up with friends was a
welcome respite. MIKE LAMOND took these photos.
Peter Davidson, Leeton grower, chairman of fruitfly committee with Kevin
Cock, Citrus Australia director, and Mark Goldsack, Bayer Crop Science.
Prof Andrew Beattie, Citrus
Entomolologist with Mike Irey,
International guest speaker.
Representing J-Tech Systems are Kim-Lee
Mildren and Phill Redway.
Mark Goldsack, Bayer Crop Science with Adrian
Chapman, Colignan Producers.
Mel Turner, Melpat International
with John Lindsay, Greentech
Australia sales manager.
Paul Harker, Woolworths merchandise
EE Muir &
Doug Spanos, Agriexchange, with Kym Thiel, Citrus
Australia and Steve Lehmann, Elders.
Big challenges must not cloud
bright future for citrus industry
By Judith Damiani, chief
executive officer, Citrus Australia
CITRUS Australia welcomes the messages
of support for Australian growers, who are
facing the challenge of mid-season over-
supply of navel oranges.
We are regularly analysing the situation
and talking to industry so that we can
understand the causes of the problem.
Navel plantings make up a substantial
portion of the Australian citrus industry --
11,000 hectares out of a total of 28,000ha
-- and are by far the largest fresh citrus
For 20 years, most navel exports were
shipped to the United States and were very
profitable, and significant plantings were
made on the back of this trade.
The decline of the US trade, mostly
because of the influx of cheap Chilean
navels since 2009, has dramatically upset
demand for Australian navels in the US
summer market (June to August).
The factors impacting on demand for
Australian mid-season navels have
resulted in over-supply on the domestic
market in the past few seasons and have
compounded to cause considerable
financial pain to navel growers this year.
In the worst instances, this has seen fruit
not being harvested or considerable
volumes being dumped by packers
because of a lack of sales.
In response, the navel sector is now in a
transition period in which alternative export
markets, increased domestic consumption
or reduced plantings are being considered.
Citrus Australia is committed to helping
growers overcome these challenging
times, and seeing our industry thrive into
Through various industry programs, we
• Opening-up new export markets,
particularly in Asia.
• Developing national quality standards to
ensure a great eating experience.
• Assisting growers with decisions
regarding their variety mix.
• Endorsing Australian orange juice with
an industry logo to help consumers
quickly identify fresh, great-tasting
• Working with the whole value chain,
including packers, marketers,
wholesalers, exporters, processors and
retailers such as Coles and Woolworths
-- to better understand its complexities.
• Working with our governments to
address export, regulatory and labelling
Hopefully, the Australian public will
support farmers by buying Australian
At this time of year, there are no fresh
imports (navels, lemons, mandarins, red
grapefruit), which are counter seasonal
and arrive during the summer months.
It is mandatory to label fresh citrus with
the country-of-origin at retail, so we're
encouraging shoppers to look for the
words Product of Australia or Australian
Grown on the citrus they buy.
At the conference, we heard from experts
about the threat of citrus greening, navel
marketing, fruitfly management and the
latest in citrus research and development.
While much has been said about the
challenges we are facing, there is still
much cause for hope.
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