Apple and Pear Australia is the peak industry body supporting Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers by improving orchard productivity and creating export market opportunities.
There are about 560 commercial apple and/or pear growers in Australia producing more fruit for fresh consumption than any other fruit industry in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics noted the industries together produced more than 400,000 tonnes of fruit in the year ended 30 June 2015.
For the year 2014-15, the retail market value of the Australian apple industry was valued at nearly $673 million, while the pear industry was valued at around $138 million. The combined apple and pear industry had a retail value of $811 million, making it the highest value fruit industry in Australia.
In 2014-15, Australians ate an average of 8.5kg of apples per year, purchasing apples on average 26 times per year, and they eat around 2.5kg of pears a year, purchasing 11 times a year.
Australian currently exports a small proportion of its apples but a higher percentage of the fresh pear crop, 16.2% in 2015. The Apple and Pear industry is looking to increase this significantly, promoting the excellent quality, food safety and wholesome goodness of Australian grown produce. Only a small quantity of apple and pears are imported into Australia from overseas.
Apple production in Australia is dominated by 3 main varieties: Cripps Pink, sold as Pink Lady® a firm, sweet and crisp apple with an attractive blush. A cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams, Pink Lady® apples account for 34% of apple production. Gala (including Royal Gala), an early season, sweet, bright red apple accounts for 22% of fresh production. Granny Smith, a hard apple with a crisp tart flavor, perfect for baking or salads, accounts for 16% of fresh production.
Traditional apple varieties such as Golden Delicious and Red Delicious continue to be replaced with newer licensed varieties such as Bravo™, Kalei™, Yello™ and high-colour Cripps Pink strains.
Pear production in Australia is dominated by 3 main varieties: Packham, a firm, green pear with a rich, juicy flavor, accounts for 43% of fresh pear production. Williams Bon Chretien, a versatile green pear that turns yellow as it ripens accounts for 27% of fresh production. Beurré Bosc, known for its distinctive russet brown skin and sweet flavor, accounted for 11% of fresh production.
New branded pear opportunities, including Goulburn River Gold pears are available for export markets, providing quality controlled, coordinated supply from the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria, Australia.
Apples are grown throughout Australia, from the fertile granite soils at 1000m above sea level in Stanthorpe, Queensland to the cool, mild climates of the Tamar and Huon river valleys in Tasmania. Almost all pears are grown in the sun drenched Goulburn Valley in Victoria. Australia’s clean environment, highest food safety standards and a commitment to quality ensure that Australian apples and pears will always delight consumers.