20 April 2022
Western Australia’s first commercial harvest of 25 tonnes Dori gold kiwifruit from the Southern Forests commenced last month with the fruit destined for the local WA market this year.
The Southern Forests Food Council has been involved with a program to explore and establish the new industry in the region since 2014, originally working with a New Zealand-based enterprise.
There were two early adopters who took the leap to establish the vines in Pemberton, Hawkebrook Farms and Lake Janis Farms, both of whom are harvesting their first commercial crop this season.
The program has involved a great deal of research and development, including international trips to see how the best in the world grow premium gold kiwifruit. Growers have also had to source and adapt a special trellis system to grow as well as establish suitable rootstock for the Pemberton climate.
“It’s been a huge learning curve from the moment we became aware of the crop’s potential.” said Dean Ryan from Lake Janis Farms.
There have been several setbacks along the way, including awaiting the safe transit of budwood through the Australian quarantine system and bulking up of the budwood to allow for the Dori gold kiwifruit variety to be grafted onto the established rootstock.
“Nurturing the labour-intensive crop through its first few years has been challenging at times, but worth it to finally harvest the crop,” said Dean.
Southern Forests Food Council have welcomed the new addition to the regions fruit production.
“It’s really exciting to see this crop come to fruition after being involved in its journey from the beginning. Growers are always on the lookout for something new and it’s great that some local growers took the initiative to trial the crop. We look forward to adding it to the long list of premium products the Southern Forests is renowned for,” said spokesperson Laura Bolitho.
Jamie Craig from Dori Australia holds the licence to market the Dori variety in Australia and is looking to visit the region regularly to connect with other growers interested in planting the highly anticipated crop.
“We are keen to get growers on board to establish enough volume from the Southern Forests region to supply the Domestic Market which is not currently supplied in the February to April period and then to replace the Imported fruit which usually arrives from the beginning of May. Once we have sufficient volume we will also look to supply the enormous International Markets to our North”.
“We acknowledge the Food Council’s efforts and contributions to this project since its early days and will continue to explore how we can create opportunities to promote the Southern Forests heritage and premium positioning alongside the Genuinely Southern Forests brand.” said Mr Craig.
Please contact Laura Bolitho on 0419 971 080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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