The Australian table grape harvest begins in earnest this week for growers in and around the northern Australian town of Emerald, with Mundubbera and St George to follow in November and December respectively.
Chairman of the Australian Table Grape Association, Mr Richard Lomman says the crop is looking similar to last year.
“Yields are on par with last year and last year was a light year, which was a good year for growers,” said Mr Lomman.
“The national harvest begins in Emerald with varieties such as Early Sweet, Flame Seedless and then Menindee Seedless. Similar varieties follow in the other Queensland regions and Northern Territory before growers in the southern states start picking their crops,” said Mr Lomman.
Mr Lomman anticipates that growers will be rewarded, with pricing reflecting the quality and supply of the produce.
“Weather wise the conditions this year have been just right. We’ve had no significant frosts in our growing regions of Western Australia and Victoria. It’s true in Queensland we’ve had rain but that has been beneficial for the crop,” said Mr Lomman.
These early season table grapes will be destined for the domestic market and Mr Lomman says the Australian consumer can look forward to some good fruit.
He does however caution consumers, saying they can expect to see a rise in fruit and vegetable prices, as the costs of labour and production has increased.
“If we don’t accept there will be an increase in price, we’ll be relying on corporate farms and imports to meet consumer demand,” said Mr Lomman.
“The consumers would have recently experienced fruit from the United States, which looked and tasted good, but shelf life was poor and breakdown of the fruit spoilt the experience. They can expect our Australian fruit to last longer and it will be the perfect addition to any festive season celebrations.” said Mr Lomman.
Chairman – Australia Table Grape Association
M: +61 427 791 748