Pink Lady

Apple and Pear Australia (APAL) has rescheduled its annual forum to mid-July.

The move comes inresponse to unfolding Covid-19 developments in Victoria, which have seen the state enter a seven-day lockdown.

The APAL Forum 2021was scheduled to take place from 31 May to 1 June in Melbourne. It will now be heldon19-20July (2021), withwelcome drinks on 18 July.

“We are genuinely excited by the talent,topics, and the opportunity to reconnect,butthe safety of our attendees is ourfirstpriority,” said APAL chief executive Phil Turnbull. “We have made the decision to postpone theforumand look forward toittaking place in July.

“Many of our speakers have already confirmed they cantake part in the forum onthenew dates,and we hopegrowers and industrycan too.”

The forum willlook at the industry's future, covering consumer and retail insights, managed varieties, cutting-edgetechnology and new research in pest control and pollination under nets.

Confirmed speakers include social commentator and business analysts Bernard Salt, who will deliver the forum’s opening address looking at unfolding trends impacting all aspects of Australian society.

A session on the retail landscape for apples and pears will also take place on the forum’s opening day, with speakers to include James Stewart of KPMG and Tristan Kitchener of Kitchener Partners.

The conversation then turns to the growing influence managed varieties are playing in the industry, with insights to be provided by Rowan Little of Montague and Andrew Hooke of APAL.

Day two of the forum examines a number of production and post-harvest topics, with sessions themed around ‘Tech, automation, robots and drones’ and ‘Protecting your orchard from unwelcome visitors’.

More updates to the programme will be announced over the coming weeks.