An apple a day could help our farmers in a big way
19 September 2015
Today on International Eat an Apple Day, Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, called on the community to support Australian farmers and choose an Australian apple to snack on.
“Australians eat an average of 8.9kg of apples per person per year—that generously equates to about 60 apples each a year. Imagine the boost it could give our orchardists if we each actually ate an apple a day,” Minister Joyce said.
“By eating Aussie apples you’re not only doing your body a favour, you’re also supporting our hardworking Australian farmers from regions like Orange, Forbes and Batlow in NSW, Stanthorpe in Queensland, Goulburn Valley, Gippsland and the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Manjimup, Donnybrook and Perth Hills in Western Australia, Adelaide Hills and the Riverland in South Australia and Huon and Channel in Tasmania.
“Australia’s apple industry, worth $434 million in 2013–14, is renowned for producing quality, sweet and tasty fruit and that’s down to the effort and attention to detail of our producers.
“It’s also an industry renowned for innovation—Australians have developed some iconic and celebrated varieties.
“For instance, the humble Granny Smith apple was developed right here in Australia by Maria Ann Smith in the 1800s—her great granddaughter turned 100 recently and attributed her longevity to good genes and lots of apples.
“Our beloved Pink Lady, known as the queen of apples, was developed by John Cripps in the 1970s in Western Australia, who also developed the Sundowner, which shares the same parentage.
“Apples are a great source of antioxidants and fibre, they taste great, and thanks to Australia’s biosecurity status are free of many of the pests and diseases that damage apple orchards elsewhere in the world.
“When you buy an Australian apple you can be certain you’re buying quality produce, and you can be certain you’re supporting Australian farmers, something this government strives to do.
“We fight to protect our producers from exotic pests and diseases, and we work hard to secure the best possible trading opportunities, as well as support those farmers who are doing it tough.
“Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the government is investing almost $4 billion in the future of the sector, to drive profits back to the farmgate.
“This includes $2.97 billion to support farmers and rural communities to strengthen drought preparedness and risk management; $200 million to strengthen our biosecurity system; and an additional $100 million to assist our producers to access the best technologies and practices to boost their productivity and profitability.
“The government backs Aussie producers, and I hope Australians take the opportunity today to show their support for our farmers and their produce—and choose an apple.”