Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    Tasting the future of WA's citrus industry

    22/07/2015 10:20 AM
     
    • WA Citrus Variety Day held at Market City's Fresh Ideas Centre
    • Potential new citrus varieties include a brown-skinned navel orange and seedless mandarins

    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston today launched the WA Citrus Variety Day, where prospective new citrus fruit varieties are taste tested, including a brown-skinned navel orange, seedless mandarins and a red-fleshed navel orange.

     

    Mr Baston joined growers, retailers and agents at Market City's Fresh Ideas Centre, in Canning Vale, to see and taste different citrus varieties including oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit, and speak to the variety managers.

     

    "The variety day is important to citrus growers as they have the opportunity to learn the results of evaluation work conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries," Mr Baston said.

     

    "DAFWA has researched a number of varieties and this is the opportunity for growers and value chain members, wholesalers and retailers, to taste them."

     

    The Minister said participants sampled easy peel, low seed varieties, characteristics which were sought after by consumers.

     

    DAFWA staff have been conducting research on citrus varieties in WA for more than 20 years.

     

    "Market research and consumer feedback has shown that consumers want to buy WA grown produce for as long as possible within season," Mr Baston said.

     

    "The research has evaluated varieties that will extend the availability of citrus grown in WA so they are available earlier and later in the traditional citrus growing season."

     

    The Minister said the evaluation detailed varieties which suited different production regions and were cost effective to grow while meeting the consumers' needs.

     

    "Changing varieties is a costly exercise, which makes it so important for growers to have the most information available and the variety day aims to provide this opportunity," he said.

     

    Fact File

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

    Minister's office - 6552 5400