Apples, pears, nashi and quince are pome fruits, grown from spring blossom and harvested from late summer through to late autumn.
Australia’s combined apple and pear industries produce more fruit for fresh produce consumption than any other fruit industry in Australia. For the year 2014-15, Australia’s apple industry was valued at nearly $556 million, while the pear industry was valued at around $125 million. The combined apple and pear industry was valued at $681 million, making it the highest value fruit industry in Australia, larger than citrus ($508M), bananas ($455M) and table grapes ($343M).
There are about 560 commercial apple and/or pear growers in the country. All states produce apples while Victoria is the largest pear producer, with around 90 per cent of the nation’s pears grown there. Australian only exports a small proportion of its apples and pears, but the industry is looking to increase this significantly. Only a small quantity of apple and pears are imported into Australia from overseas.
Apples are grown in all states and picking begins in January with the early varieties including Gala and ends around May with the later varieties including Cripps Pink.Ninety per cent of Australia’s pears are grown in Victoria, with Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia also producing some pears. Pear pickings starts in January and they are on the market soon after.
Originally from Aisa, Nashi pears are extremely juicy but have a fairly bland flavour. They are used more as thirst quenchers rather than as a means of satisfying hunger. In addition to being popular as a fruit, they have some useful characteristics of shape and disease resistance. Nashi are used in pear variety breeding programs to develop more interesting pears.
The common Quince originally from Asia, is grown cojbhkjnkjnommercially in small quantities in Australia. It grows in cooler subtropical areas to cold temperate regions and has a culture similar to that of apples and pears. Because of small production, the amount of fruit reaching the fresh fruit market can sell at attractive prices. There are difficulties, however, in producing high quality fruit
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