Three-day event includes expert speakers, orchard tours and technology showcase

The Western Australia Apple Variety & Innovation Conference (WAAVIC) attracted a healthy contingent of growers and packers from across Australia and the world.

Delegates toured apple orchards

Held from 28-31 March, the conference was hosted by WA Farm Direct, Fruit West, Pomewest and Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The event commenced at the Crown Perth Astral Ballroom. Delegates were welcomed by Heather Brayford, director general of DPIRD.

The welcome was followed by keynote speaker Bernard Salt, who gave his view on current global market trends for premium and luxury brands.

Delegates then travelled to Western Australia’s Great Southern region, where they visited apple orchards throughout Donnybrook, Kirup and Manjimup. They also toured DPIRD’s Australian Apple Breeding Nursery and tasted new apple varieties being bred by the department.

Technology solutions from Croptracker, Aero Vine and Source Certain were also on show.

Fruit West had the opportunity to outline to Australian growers the international plan for the ANABP 01 variety, marketed in Australia as Bravo and being sold internationally as Soluna. TopStar, Fruit West’s international commercialisation partner for Soluna, was in attendance too.

“There will be some exciting apple export opportunities for Australian growers in the very near future,” according to a media release from WA Farm Direct.