Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    WA citrus industry blossoms

    18/06/2015 7:45 AM
     
    • WA's citrus season opens today
    • Local citrus industry having a renaissance
    • Increasing volumes and new and improved citrus varieties now available

    New easy-peel and seedless oranges and mandarins are now in stock with the Western Australian citrus season launched today.

     

    Welcoming the season opening, Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said supplies of high-quality oranges and mandarins from local orchards were now reaching the marketplace, to be followed by lemons and grapefruit.

     

    Mr Baston said the local citrus industry was having a renaissance, with greater industry co-ordination, increasing volumes and new and improved varieties coming online.

     

    "New easy peel, seedless varieties planted three years ago are coming into production, which will complement many of the old favourites consumers know and love," he said.

     

    The Minister encouraged consumers to buy local and to seek out fresh locally grown citrus, which could be identified by a blue sticker with the WA brand on it.

     

    "WA citrus is well known for its great taste, which is backed by a quality monitoring system," he said.

     

    WA produces more than 15,000 tonnes of citrus per year, worth $15 million.

     

    Mr Baston said he was encouraged by the WA Citrus Improvement Group's endeavours to develop the industry and draft a marketing plan to promote WA citrus fruit.

     

    "The State Government, through the Department of Agriculture and Food, is working with the industry to improve value chain performance, crop forecasting, evaluating new varieties and promoting best practice production techniques," he said.

     

    Fact File

    • Most WA oranges, mandarins and lemons are produced within a 250 kilometre radius of Perth, while most red flesh grapefruit and limes come from the Gascoyne and Ord River Irrigation Areas
    • The WA citrus industry is comprised of: oranges (60%), mandarins (20%), grapefruit (10%), lemons (7%), other citrus (tangelos, limes, 3%)
    • Citrus volumes are expected to increase in the next two to three years, as supplies from two new commercial operators in the West Midlands continue to increase

    Minister's office  - 6552 5400