The Fresh Produce Group (FPG) has announced that they have secured the rights to import USA grown stone fruit into Australia for the first time.
The move will provide Australian shoppers with the opportunity to purchase peaches and nectarines in the winter period when they are traditionally unavailable due to seasonality.
The FPG believes that the approval has come at an opportune time for Australian consumers as the fruit is currently in peak season with excellent eating quality and appearance.
“We have worked closely with the relevant stakeholders in the US and Australia in getting this approved, using selected grower partners we know can deliver,” says Geroe Raco, commercial director – fruit.
CEO of FPG, Robert Nugan said the approval will give consumers access to a wider variety of quality fruit.
“We have a history of making difficult protocols work through well managed air freight programmes to give customers more choice and variety,” said Nugan.
The move has come at a very sensitive time for the Australian industry as orchardists from Victoria’s devastated Goulburn Valley region recently announced that they will have to destroy some 750,000 unwanted trees to avoid attracting vermin and disease to the area.
The Goulburn Valley area which is renowned for its high quality peach and pear crops, was informed by key buyer SPC Ardmona, that they will no longer be accepting produce from some 170 growers in the region from 1 May this year, sighting an influx in cheap imports as the prime reason for the decision.