Along with development and maintenance of the Custard Apple Dispatch System, Hort Innovation’s current R&D levy investment for the custard apple industry has a strong focus on the transfer of knowledge and technology to growers. Read more in the R&D snapshot below. To see how the marketing levy is being put to use, head to the marketing snapshot.

INDUSTRY UPDATE

After you’ve read about the custard apple industry’s current levy investments and outcomes in this edition of Hortlink, check out Hort Innovation’s custard apple grower page. The grower page remains your one-stop-shop for industry information, including:

  • Important updates regarding the custard apple Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), as available. Developed in close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders, the SIP is a document outlining the priorities for strategic investment in the industry. It is to be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the custard apple Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest updates regarding the custard apple SIAP, including details on the panel’s recently appointed chair, Eoin Wallis, and summaries from SIAP meetings to date. The SIAP most recently met on February 23 in Brisbane.
  • The 2015/16 custard apple industry annual report, detailing activities from the previous financial year.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the custard apple industry.

Any questions?

As well as the custard apple grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Astrid Hughes is always available to answer questions on the custard apple program, on 0405 306 334 or at astrid.hughes@horticulture.com.au. For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Craig Perring.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Custard apple communication and extension program (CU16001)

Status: New project

What’s it all about? Hort Innovation has appointed Custard Apples Australia as the service provider for this new initiative for the industry. The program will support industry awareness and uptake of R&D outcomes and other relevant knowledge, through field days/roadshows in each of the country’s growing regions. These events will take to growers information on fruit quality, orchard management and post-harvest systems and practices; support growers in adding value to their businesses; and keep all stakeholders up to date with the latest issues relevant to the custard apple industry.

Custard Apple Dispatch System 2 – CADS 2 (CU15000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? The Custard Apple Dispatch System (CADS) allows registered growers to generate and transmit dispatch advices electronically, and wholesalers and exporters to enter and transmit payback prices electronically. It also allows for reporting at grower and industry levels. The CADS 2 project, which began in 2016, is responsible for upgrading the system and continuing its administration.

What’s the latest update? No new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (Spring 2016). At the time of last reporting, key tasks set and achieved by the project during the 2016 period included:

  • Redeveloping the system’s dispatch and payback forms, which are now able to operate with any browser on both desktop computers and tablets
  • Updating system navigation for a smoother user experience
  • Providing an easier mechanism for consignees to display the payback form and enter payback prices
  • Developing an aggregated reporting function for dispatch quantities and payback prices.

The updated system was presented and demonstrated to growers at industry roadshow events at the beginning of the 2016 season, and was to be reinforced ahead of the 2017 season.

The CADS is accessible via www.freshproducelink.com.au with an allocated username and password.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

Due to start in late February/early March, the marketing campaign for custard apples will continue with its long-term approach to securing interest and raising awareness of the fruit.

This season’s activity will involve face-to-face interaction with consumers and sampling opportunities. With over 800,000 people attending during a two-week period, the Sydney Royal Easter Show has been confirmed as a major chance to showcase custard apples and the industry in this way. Custard apples will be partnering with other tropical fruits, including persimmons and passionfruit, to display and provide samples of fruit from within the Woolworths Food Dome – the busiest pavilion in at the show.

The season’s marketing activity will also involve a social media strategy highlighting the season, educating consumers and encouraging purchase, while mainstream media channels will also be leveraged to educate consumers and tackle barriers to purchase.

More details will be provided in the next edition of Hortlink.

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