Australian apple growers are congratulating Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce on his decision to endorse International Eat an Apple a Day. “If the majority of Australians were to eat an Australian grown apple on ‘international eat an apple day’ then our industry would likely seen an instant impact from that,” said Baden Ribbon, Sales and Marketing manager for Hansen Orchards, a large Tasmanian based grower. “High quality Australian apples are available all year round so there is no reason to stop having one every day.”
At present Australians consume an average of 8.9kg of apples per year, according to Minister Joyce. That equates to around 60 apples. “Imagine the boost it could give our orchardists if we each actually ate an apple a day,” he told farmonline in an interview.
Minister Joyce released a statement encouraging Australians to eat an apple every day, and mentioned iconic varieties that have been cultivated in Australia, including the Granny Smith and the Pink Lady, which is now being exported to Asia and around the world.
“Australia’s apple industry, worth $434 million in 2013–14, is renowned for producing quality, sweet and tasty fruit and that’s down to the effort and attention to detail of our producers,’ the statement said. “It’s also an industry renowned for innovation.”
The day also provides an opportunity to support key growing regions for apples, according to the minister. Those areas include the Goulburn Valley, Gippsland and the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Stanthorpe in Queensland, the Huon Valley and Channel in Tasmania, Riverland in South Australia and Donnybrook, Perth Hills and Manjimup in Western Australia. Some of those areas will be familiar to importers from other countries.
In terms of what apples are good to eat right now, Mr Ribbon had a recommendation for Australian shoppers. “I would recommend Tasmanian grown Royal Gala as an ideal choice between now and Christmas as they are sweet, reliably crisp and have a long shelf life.”