Hort Innovation’s investment of the passionfruit R&D levy continues to focus on developing new passionfruit varieties and delivering strong communication to support skills and knowledge growth. Read more in the R&D snapshot below. To see how the industry’s marketing levy is being put to use, head to the marketing snapshot.

INDUSTRY UPDATE

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

  • Important updates regarding the passionfruit 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 passionfruit Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest updates regarding the passionfruit SIAP, including details on the panel’s recently appointed chair, Eoin Wallis, and summaries from all SIAP meetings to date. The SIAP most recently met in September last year, and is due to meet again in Brisbane in March.
  • The 2015/16 passionfruit industry annual report, detailing activities from the previous financial year.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the passionfruit industry.

Any questions?

As well as the passionfruit grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Astrid Hughes is always available to answer questions on the passionfruit 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 Monique Emmi.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

National passionfruit breeding program (PF15000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? This three-year project with Southern Cross University is focused on the development and evaluation of new passionfruit varieties to ensure the sustainability of the industry. It is working towards the release of new commercial varieties before varietal decline affects the profitability of current ones such as Sweetheart and Misty Gem. It will also establish an industry seedbank to conserve and enhance current passionfruit genetic material in Australia.

Following discussions with the passionfruit SIAP and project steering committee, there has been a recent variation in the project so that it now also involves rootstock identification and selection. (With these new activities to be reported on in the next edition of Hortlink as they begin.)

What’s the latest update? Back in December, a quick questionnaire for passionfruit growers was distributed to gather information on experiences and issues with current varieties, to guide trial locations, and to establish grower willingness to take part in trials. The survey remains open until the end of March, and all growers are encouraged to take part here.

In regards to genetic analysis to identify fruit quality characteristics and other desirable traits, there has been the establishment of a ‘mapping population’ and cloned/grafted plantings for this purpose. The initial plants are a cross between two former commercial varieties, Tom’s Special and Lacey. An early assessment of variation in fruit colour, fruit pulp sugar content and pulp pH has taken place, with results indicating a strong genetic contribution to the traits of pulp sugar content and pH.

At the time of last reporting to Hort Innovation, the researchers had also worked with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to secure a number of passionfruit seeds held from previous levy-funded work.

Communication program for the passionfruit industry (PF13004)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? With a focus on print communications, this project aims to keep passionfruit growers and other industry stakeholders informed about the latest R&D and marketing activity, essential chemical updates, and other key industry news, market issues and reports. Through supply of information, the ultimate goal is to assist growers in making production decisions, and to build industry capacity, productivity and profitability.

What’s the latest update? This project continues to produce quarterly issues of The Passion Vine magazine. It also maintains the www.passionfruitaustralia.org.au website, which provides information about growing, product, supply, marketing and more.


The Passion VineA recent issue of The Passion Vine, produced under project PF13004


MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

This season, the ‘Finish with Passion’ marketing campaign is all about showcasing how natural and tangy Aussie passionfruit can transform ordinary dishes into something special. As well as point-of-sale kits being placed in independent greengrocers nationally, here’s a look at campaign activities.

Public relations activities

The campaign kicked off in late October 2016, with a recipe shoot led by food stylist Janet Mitchell. Janet created passionfruit ‘finish’ recipes, showing how passionfruit can be used to top a range of delicious dishes. These recipes, images and videos were offered to national media outlets, dietitians and other influencers to promote the use of Australian passionfruit in a variety of ways.

Since the campaign began there has been a great response, with close to 70 pieces of media coverage reaching more than 2.98 million consumers. Passionfruit images, recipes, ideas and other content has been shared across magazines, newspapers and websites. Coverage highlights included passionfruit pieces in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Gold Coast Bulletin, The Weekly Times, Taste.com.au, The Queensland Times and across the 20 titles in the Newslocal publication group.

A feature article was also included in the February edition of Nourish magazine, which has a national reach of 175,000.

Media has been particularly interested in speaking to growers about the fruit they’re producing, which is a great way to showcase some of Australian passionfruit businesses.


Passionfruit syrup x 3 recipes

Some of the imagery from this season’s ‘Finish with Passion’ campaign


Social media

The Aussie Passionfruit Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AussiePassionfruit) and Instagram account (@aussiepassionfruit) continue to provide the public with inspiring imagery of fresh Australian passionfruit, as well as tips on selecting, storing and using it. Health messaging is also weaved into the content.

With a focus on ‘Finishing with Passion’, the Facebook content includes many mouth-watering recipes, photos and ideas where passionfruit is the star. The first of the campaign videos created from the recipe shoot (described above) was shared on the Facebook page here. It shows how a simple passionfruit sauce can be used to complete a range of delicious dishes, including Eton mess, tropical churros and fruit toast. The video reached over 24,500 people and was shared 75 times.

Other popular activity on the page has included a video profile of grower Kaye Ziser at her farm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Celebrating the summer season and connecting consumers to the production of fresh food, the video reached some 14,400 people and was shared 68 times.

On Instagram, Aussie Passionfruit followers are particluarly interested in sweet recipes and  healthy usage ideas. Mouthwatering close-ups of passionfruit paired with seasonal information and tips perform particularly well on this channel.

To drive fan numbers, during December and January a competition was run encouraging Instagram users to share their favourite ways to finish a dish with passionfruit. Weekly winners received a hamper of fresh passionfruit, with over 75 high-calibre entries coming in, and helping spread passionfruit recipes and imagery on the channel.

Print page