NEW navel varieties that could provide greater appeal to consumers and boost citrus sales were the focus of a series of forums held last week, hosted by Citrus Australia.
Bayer CropScience sponsored the new navel variety forums, designed to address current issues facing the Australian citrus industry including supply and demand.
The forums were held across the Riverland, Sunraysia and Riverina and included information sessions, workshops and trend discussions for growers and industry groups to address current issues facing the Australian citrus industry.
Citrus Australia general manager market development Andrew Harty said the forums saw growers receive the latest information from industry experts on variety trends while Bayer staff were on hand to answer questions regarding practice changes.
Growers discussed the oversupply of navel oranges in Australia caused by a decline in US trade and an unfavourable exchange rate, and risks when planting new navel varieties.
Grower and president of the Leeton Citrus Growers, Glenn Morris, attended the forums and said new varieties of mandarins and oranges were among the topics discussed.
“Over the last few years we’ve had issues with sales of navels because of the strong Australian dollar limiting US trade,” Mr Morris said.
“We might be able to overcome some of these hardships with new varieties that meet what the consumer wants, like easy peel seedless mandarins.”
Darryl Stretton, Bayer CropScience product manager temperate fruit said the forums were timely given the industry was in a downturn at the moment.
“Consumers are looking for convenience, certain sizes and ease of peeling with new varieties. The industry is now exploring the concept of new varieties which will align with consumer preferences,” Mr Stretton said.
For more information visit http://www.citrusaustralia.com.au