Home' Grower : August 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- August 2013 9
New chief executive for APAL
FORMER tobacco and advertising industry
head John Dollisson has become the new chief
executive of Apple and Pear Australia Limited.
Mr Dollisson, who has more than 30 years
experience in leading complex organisations,
will take over from APAL managing director Jon
Durham who will retire this October after 20
years with the company.
APAL chairman John Lawrenson said Mr
Durham would leave behind big shoes to fill
and is confident that Mr Dollisson is up to the
"The Board received a wide range of highly
qualified candidates for the position which
demonstrated great confidence in the apple and
pear industry," Mr Lawrenson said.
"John's extensive experience in working across
large multi-dimensional industries and track
record of influencing government decisions will
help him to manage the many challenges facing
the Australian apple and pear industry."
Mr Dollisson's career has included senior roles
within the Australian Government, the tobacco
industry, Phillip Morris International, Media
Partners International, Boyer Group, and outdoor
advertising agency Eye Corp.
He has also held numerous director positions
in the advertising and services industries in
Australia and overseas.
"I am looking forward to working within the
agriculture sector, a sector I believe has major
growth potential," Mr Dollisson said.
"The opportunity to represent and advocate for
the apple and pear industry and the standing of
APAL is exciting - it's what attracted me to the
director Matt Redin says the
company did not get it right
"The first package for our organic
range was too clever by half and
did not work," he said.
"We tried to be too earthy and
did not proclaim our organic status
"The reason consumers buy
organic is because it tastes good
and is organic. Say it loud and
proud on your packaging."
Many successful organic produc-
ers are learning to target more than
just the environmentally-conscious
with their marketing, and results
speak for themselves.
More than a million Australians
regularly buy organic products,
and 65 per cent of adult Australians
claim to have bought an organic
product in the past 12 months.
The reasons behind going organic
are changing, with less emphasis on
the environment and more focus
on perceived health benefits.
Formerly the domain of farmers
markets and health food shops,
organic produce is increasingly
popping up in more mainstream
areas, with three out of every four
purchases now made at major
As this shift occurs, certification
is becoming more of a priority
among Australian consumers, 36
per cent of whom report that they
would reject uncertified products
with organic claims.
Keeping in step with community
concerns, government agencies
are making an effort to police
the use of organic branding,
with the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission last
month instructing seven bottled
water companies to change their
names or risk action for misleading
Dr Monk says the move was a
positive one, and cautioned that
there could be more issues ahead.
"The organic sector is slow and
reticent to make moves on this
sort of thing, and there's certainly
some risk of controversy in organic
branding in the cosmetic industry,
for instance, which is indirectly
related to horticulture through the
oils they use and such," he said.
"At the end of the day though, in
what is an open marketplace, the
challenges facing organic certifica-
tion aren't as strong as, say, with
"Our certification is protected by
law and there's a risk something
isn't organic if it doesn't have that
mark of approval," he said.
Details: Australian Organic 08 8562 2769
Production size triples
GAWLER River almond grower
John Maragozidis (pictured) is
just one of many farmers enjoying
the boom in organic produce
On the back of strong demand
and the breaking of the drought,
his Yunis organic almonds
company embarked on a massive
expansion last year.
John added a 36-hectare
Riverland property to the already
established 16ha lot of land at
Angle Vale, more than tripling the
space available for production.
Although the growth is encourag-
ing, John warns there are several
disadvantages growers need to
be aware of before switching to
"The biggest challenges we face
as organic growers are weed and
pest control which lead to yield
reduction and higher operating
costs," he said.
"Harvest is much slower with a
higher wear rate on equipment
and higher fuel usage."
John believes the trouble is more
than worth it though, for produce
that's not only good for the health
of his customers, but the health of
the environment too.
"Soil fertility is improved by
encouraging soil microbes and
earthworms, which unlock
insoluble minerals from rock and
old plant tissue in the soil making
them available in a balanced form
to the trees," he said.
"This enriched, drought resistant
soil is also less prone to soil
erosion and reduces ground water
Details: 08 8284 8343 or www.
on fast track
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