For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Matthew Jones



APAL campaigns for fair pricing

Australian industry body hoping to boost farmgate returns for apple and pear growers

APAL campaigns for fair pricing

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Apple and Pear Australia (APAL) has warned the industry could fall into decline without a fair commitment to pricing from the domestic retail and wholesale sectors.

The peak industry body said farmgate prices were reaching dire levels, with the wholesale price of pears dipping as low as A$1kg over recent times.

"The cost of production of a carton of Class 1 Australian apples or pears is in excess of a $2kg," said APAL chief executive Phil Turnbull. "Current pricing well below this is putting considerable pressure on orchard businesses."

Turnbull said while there might be an expectation that lower pricing would grow purchase volume, all indications to date have suggested otherwise.

"A low price might shift an increased volume in that week, but that is not translating to a sustained growth in consumption," he said. 

"Apple consumption remains at around 8kg, per person, per year and pears at 2.5kg per person, per year. We need a carefully researched and well thought out approach to drive a long-term growth in consumption, not a short-term 'special' that sets unrealistic consumer price expectations."

Turnbull suggested retailers were in a unique position of responsibility as they market around 80 per cent of the industry's fruit.

He also said the industry was focused on finding new ways of boosting domestic consumption, while setting the strategy of increasing exports to 10 per cent of production by 2027.

"We have to understand the underlying issues here," Turnbull explained. "To this end we have commissioned a considerable piece of independent consumer research to understand this lack of growth in our category.

"APAL is working with industry and retailers to manage our category in a more orderly fashion and this research will form the basis of how we engage with consumers in the future."

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