In this edition
In this edition of Fresh Perspective, we are reporting on two industry conferences that Pershouse Produce was proud to be a part of - the 2008 Melon Conference and Fruition.

We are also taking the opportunity to reflect on the Autumn fruit and vegetable season so far.

Look out for our coming editions where we will unveil our new Community Partnership Programme. Pershouse Produce is proud of our track record in terms of industry and community support and our 2008 programme is no exception. Maybe you can lend your support to this very worthwhile campaign!

Enjoy your read...

Autumn Produce Review – Vegetables
Vegetables have been reasonably consistent since the beginning of Autumn, but with the colder weather upon us, it is expected that supply will start to tighten up as the frost bites, and the growing season slows.
“Most lines of vegetables are still in pretty good supply at the moment” said Kerry Shields of Pershouse Produce's Vegetable Sales Team.” But we have seen some of our first frosts for the year so that could start to change.”
“The first lines to be affected will be cauliflowers and celery and we expect broccoli to follow. Prices for cauliflowers have already started to tighten.”
On the other hand, heavy produce lines are in abundant supply, particularly Kent (jap) pumpkins and sweet potato.
“The weather has extended the local pumpkin season and so the market has been flooded with them. Fortunately the weather has turned cooler which will hopefully increase the demand for heavier vegetables.” said Steve Rosten, Heavy Produce Sales, Pershouse Produce.
Alwyn Weier agrees. "There certainly isn’t a shortage of sweet potatoes on the market so we are hoping that demand picks up now we have had a bit of a cold snap.”

Autumn Produce Review – Fruit
Two of nature’s ‘superfoods’ are leading the charge in the fruit section this month with apples and avocadoes taking centre stage.
Since March, there has been an abundant supply of Stanthorpe apples on the market and there’s still plenty to come. This season has been one of the best we have seen in a few years, with most varieties exhibiting near perfect colour, but most importantly, really delivering on taste and crunch.
And, after all the recent publicity concerning just how good apples are for our health, its little wonder they have been in demand.
“This has been a great season” said Graham Meagher from Pershouse Produce.
“At the moment Pink Lady’s and Royal Galas are in full swing with Red Delicious to follow in the next few weeks.”
“And we can’t forget Granny Smiths – especially with the colder weather coming in. It’s a perfect cooking and eating apple and they really are terrific this season.” adds Graham.
Another fruit that packs a punch are avocados and the Hass variety is looking particularly tasty this season.
“Most people often think of avocadoes as solely a Summer fruit, but some of the best avocadoes are around at this time of year.” said Graham.
“We are currently sourcing our Hass avocadoes from the North Coast (Qld) and they are really good eating and great value.”
But while apples and avocadoes are certainly the stars, Cameron Kedwell of Pershouse Produce Banana Sales tells us that bananas are also holding steady.
“We can’t talk about ‘superfoods’ without including the banana!”
“At the moment there are some really nice Lady Fingers around, but Cavendish are still good quality.” said Cameron.
“They will start to get their ‘Winter Coat’, and look a bit duller than the normal bold yellow we see during the warmer months, but the flesh will still taste just as good.”

National Conference Brings Goals to Fruition
More than 150 industry delegates joined a strong line up of high calibre speakers for the staging of Fruition 2008, the Brismark hosted Australian Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries annual conference held in Brisbane.

Pershouse Produce sponsored the three days of meetings, speaker and panel sessions held at the Sofitel Brisbane along with a busy social program for partners, family members and delegates.

Some of the nation's top industry speakers examined the direction of Australia’s fruit and vegetable wholesalers and spoke of the importance of strong relationships with the growing sector, retailers and consumers and government.

Keynote speaker and arctic explorer Graeme Joy built the success theme with an adventurer’s guide to resourcing, team makeup and determination to reach a goal, with the conference's final speaker, Winter Olympics gold medallist Steven Bradbury speaking on the definition of success and the passion and pain that gets you there.

A succession of top industry speakers and panelists helped touch on a range of subjects from supply issues to emotional branding, climate forecasting to horticulture’s future direction.

Fruition 2008 was also the catalyst for stronger relationships between the younger wholesaler representatives with 20 Youth Forum participants taking part in a workshop to discuss the future of the Central Markets system followed by an afternoon of go karting.

Next year’s event will be held in Melbourne.

Vanessa Kennedy, Brisbane Markets Ltd.

Melon Conference a Great Success
This years Melon Conference was a great success with around 150 delegates participating. Patrick Logue, Melon Industry IDO has kindly supplied us with a follow up on the Conference. Pershouse Produce was a proud sponsor of this event.

Conference Review

The 2008 Melon Conference started off with growers having an opportunity to see, first hand, the operations of the Woolworths Browns Pains store and the Woolworths Distribution Centre at Larapinta. This was followed by a tour to Amcor Fibre Packaging warehouse, to see how cartons are manufactured.

On Wednesday 5th March there was an early morning visit to Withcott Seedlings and then participants went on to the field day at Gatton U Q.
Dr Nancy Schellhorn, (CSIRO,) gave an overview of the Silver Leaf White Fly project, she expounded on the results of work carried out in the Bundaberg region with regard to the monitoring of the infestation rate of the white fly in a melon crop and then, the rate at which the parisatoid locates the white fly.

There were two presentations at the field day - a talk by Vincent van Wolferen (Rijk Zwaan International,) regarding a case study where a group of growers in Central America had linked up with a seed Company and were exporting melons into a market in Europe. The second presentation was about Melon Crop nutrition and this was presented by Barry Bull, from ‘Yara’ Asia.

There were variety trials for delegates to observe, with most of the major seed suppliers represented. A very big ‘thank you ‘to Tod Eadie from U.Q (Gatton) and David Commens (South Pacific seeds) for all their time and effort. The Gatton UK team is to be commended for producing something for the delegates to see under very difficult circumstances - due to the recent heavy rainfall.

With an early start on Thursday the 6th March, delegates went off to the Brisbane Markets, where there was a brief overview of future developments at the markets by Andrew Young, Brisbane Markets Limited. This presented an opportunity for the tour group to meet various agents, including Pershouse Produce in their walk around the markets. After a welcome breakfast, there was a forum where a very clear message was made clear to the delegates, regarding the all-important subjects of Quality, Consistency and Communication. This forum was facilitated by David Hanlon and Peter Kedwell from Pershouse Produce was one of the market wholesalers providing feedback to the growers.

Alan Ducret, the ACCC regional Director for Queensland, gave an update on role of the ACCC and the current position of the consultation process. Alan was supported by the head of the ACCC codes Unit, Konrad Chmielewski.

The Conferences presentations commenced back at Ipswich International with a very interesting talk by Robert Gray –“ Understanding consumer needs -An overview of the success of the marketing of seedless watermelon.”

This was followed by “Food Safety - Public and Industry implications,” which was presented by Joseph Elman NSW DPI &F. Mal Frick from T Systems Australia.

Gordon Rogers (Applied Horticultural Research,) gave an overview of the trials conducted on seedless watermelons with irrigation management, crop nutrition, plant density and the ratio of pollinators to seedless plants.

The afternoon session was completed by Shaun Jackson (South Pacific seeds,) who gave an interesting overview of the vegetable industry and which points growers should be looking at.

The final day of the Conference started off with a talk by Glenda Hutch (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) on types of skilled visas that are available to the farming sector and how these can be accessed. Rob Cameron of the Harvest Trial, talked about the access to back packer labour.

This was followed by a talk on Property and Environmental management Assurance systems by Joseph Elkman (NSW DPI & F) and Margie Milgate
from Growcom. This was an overview of how regional authorities are going about the allocation of funding.

Rob Nielsen (Queensland DPI & F) gave a very brief account of the Myers and Briggs type indicator, which was interesting and enjoyed by all.
Dr Kendle Wilkinson (HAL) Industry Services Manager for Queensland, gave an overview of the roll played by HAL and how it operates. With more detail about the projects which Hal and the Melon Association jointly fund.

Yelli Kruger, HAL’s Marketing Manager, gave a brief report on HAL’s managed marketing and promotional plans and the various ways of raising money to undertake these promotions.

Owing to the lack of time on Thursday evening, there was no summation
of the market forum or the Conference presentations, so a brief summary of the market forum was held, with Mark Daunt at Chairman. Also on the panel were Paul McLaughlin, David Weeks and Shaun Jackson. The salient points were listed on a board and a lively discussion ensured! This discussion covered a wide range topics, quality, growing out of season, a levy - which resulted in a motion from Darryl O’Leary who proposed that the watermelon growers have a voluntarily contribution levy to cover the promotion and marketing of watermelons. This motion was seconded by Paul McLaughlin and was carried, with unanimous support for the levy, from the floor.

During the afternoon session there were three workshops:

First workshop – Post harvest management of melons, with Joseph Ekman(NSW DPI &F) and Peter Chalmers, Makhteshim-Agan Australia.
Second workshop – Melon Water management, Gordon Rogers (AHR) and Egberto Soto, Growcom – “Water for Profit” team.

Third workshop – Wilt diseases in melons – Chrys Akem (Qld DPI & F) and Lucia Grimmer on the roll of micro-nutrients in Melons.

At the dinner, the Association presented Judy Greensill with a large ‘Esky’
in appreciation for all her years of service to the Association.

Once again, a very big thank you to all the sponsors who were involved in making the Melon Conference a success.

Patrick Logue, Melon Industry IDO.

Here is a list of just some of the produce available right now* at Pershouse Produce

Broad beans
Brussel Sprouts
Butter Beans

Honeydew Melon
Kipfler Potatoes

Okra Beans
Spring Onions

Sth Gold Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

*subject to supply conditions.

If you have a story or article that you think would make a great addition to Fresh Perspective contact;

Laura Koman
Ph: 07 3379 3034

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