While the news of Woolworths taking more SPC Ardmona fruit was good for the processor’s suppliers, there will be no benefit for the growers who were cut from the company’s supply list.By Geoff Adams
While the news of Woolworths taking more SPC Ardmona fruit was good for the processor’s suppliers, there will be no benefit for the growers who were cut from the company’s supply list.
Shepparton East grower Jaggie Manget was a small supplier of fruit to SPC Ardmona until two years ago and recently bulldozed about 1400 peach trees.
Heartened by the news of the new contract with Woolworths, he said he contacted SPC Ardmona to see how much fruit was wanted, but was told they didn’t want any from him.
He is melancholic about the loss of so much production from the Goulburn Valley, but is trying to put that behind him and look for new strategies to get fresh fruit into the domestic and overseas markets.
‘‘For all the talk going on the growers who were cut off are still disadvantaged,’’ Mr Manget said.
‘‘And it looks like they will not get anything (from the governments). They will keep on bulldozing trees.’’
However, he and his family have made some strategic decisions to target new markets and go for quality ahead of quantity.
He he is pruning his trees hard to reduce the yield but lift the quality.
‘‘There’s always a market for premium quality fruit.
‘‘There’s going to be a lot of fruit around this year trying to get into the market.
‘‘I think there’s going to be a flood. Everyone will be trying to do the same thing.’’
Mr Manget is planning to replace some of the peach orchard with popular market varieties such as Pink Lady apples and has been visiting interstate markets to monitor how their fruit is being sold and look for new opportunities.
Last year the family company dispatched fruit to Indonesia for the first time.
Mr Manget has also been looking at vegetable growing.
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