PASSIONFRUIT LEVY INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT

Passionfruit

See how the passionfruit levy is being put to work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the industry levy, and results, in the R&D and marketing snapshots – or click on a project below to go straight to its update:

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s passionfruit grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • The new Passionfruit Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, with an easy-to-read ‘at a glance’ version and the full PDF document. The SIP was finalised in April after close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders. It outlines priorities for strategic investment in the industry, and will 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 meeting notes from the passionfruit SIAP, which most recently met on March 15 in Brisbane.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the July 2016 to March 2017 financial operating statement, and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the 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 Assistant Kelly McGuinness.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

National passionfruit breeding program (PF15000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Established in mid-2016, 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.

The project is also selecting and trialling new rootstocks, conducting Panama breeding and establishing an industry seedbank to conserve and enhance current passionfruit genetic material in Australia.

What’s the latest update? The researchers report that many crosses and selfs of passionfruit varieties have been carried out, most recently for the new Panama and rootstock part of the program. The seed from these crosses and selfs are now to be planted to see if they have the qualities the program is after. Later on, the project team will be seeking volunteers to be involved in wider trials here.

The project team have also recently started the process of evaluating first-stage trial plants from last year – seedlings planted out in 2016 – to see if there are any likely candidates for further trialing on growers’ properties. While doing this, the team will be on the lookout for any crosses in which there is variation for traits of interest. These populations might be used in the future for developing DNA markers. The researchers will also be looking at the stage-two trials (grafted selections) from last year to see how they are performing. They report that there were a few good-looking vines from the 2016 seedlings in the Tom x Lacey crosses planted at Burringbar – with a hopeful eye being kept on these.

An initial genetic linkage map has been developed based on approximately 180 vines of the Tom x Lacey cross planted on two grower properties, and fruit is currently being assessed for pH, Brix, colour and other features. The goal is to see if DNA markers can be found on the linkage map that are associated with these traits. If the project team can find a few traits with good markers, then this should help in the future to select good candidate vines at seedling stage.

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.

Passionfruit industry minor use program (PF16000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the passionfruit industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

Hort Innovation is responsible for a range of industry marketing activities to grow awareness and consumption of Australian passionfruit, using the passionfruit marketing levy.

Since February, in the lead-up to peak winter season, there was a focus on refreshing the creative assets used to inspire and engage consumers in the promotion of passionfruit. This involved shooting a video on how to make – and then ‘finish the dish’ – with passionfruit curd, plus building a catalogue of images for its use in recipes including cupcakes, melting moments and passionfruit curd tarts.

Other activities included:

  • Preparing a winter peak season media release
  • Developing two new health-focused passionfruit graphics
  • Preparing winter peak season hampers.

These assets will be used to entice media and bloggers to write about the many delicious ways to enjoy passionfruit during winter – in turn encouraging their readers and consumers to buy more passionfruit. Assets will also be shared in Aussie Passionfruit social media channels. Look for updates on this activity in future editions of Hortlink.

Public relations/media update

So far, media outreach for the 2016/2017 year has resulted in some 180 pieces of passionfruit coverage in traditional and online media – combined, reaching an audience of over eight million people.

Outreach to ‘long-lead’ media (for example magazines, which prepare content well in advance) commenced in April, with the view to getting passionfruit covered in winter editions. So far interest has been good, with magazines such as Recipes+ and Australian Women’s Weekly confirming their interest in including passionfruit.

The next steps for the PR activity include distributing the winter media release, images and recipe inspiration to mid- and short-lead media to generate coverage for passionfruit.

Social media activity
  • Facebook. The Aussie Passionfruit Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AussiePassionfruit) continues to provide the public with useful seasonal information, picking, storage, health, inspirational recipes and usage tips as well as insights into the industry and growers. It also provides a forum for passionfruit fans to ask any questions and get advice. The page has strong engagement rates, with fans liking, commenting and sharing posts at a rate well above the industry benchmark. Recent popular posts have included a quick passionfruit vanilla slice recipe that reached nearly 28,800 people and inspired 250 people to share the post on their own social media pages.
  • Instagram. The Aussie Passionfruit Instagram account (@aussiepassionfruit) shares inspiring imagery of fresh Aussie passionfruit, paired with handy tips, seasonal information and farming information. The account builds the passionfruit industry’s presence within the Instagram community and inspires Instagram users to use passionfruit in new ways while demonstrating how versatile they are. Between February and the start of May, the account’s fanbase grew by six per cent.

Passionfruit - Instagram

Passionfruit inspiration on the Aussie Passionfruit Instagram account


The Sydney Royal Easter Show

Running from April 6 to 19, the Sydney Royal Easter Show was a great opportunity to showcase passionfruit, with 922,000 people attending the event (a 20 per cent increase from the previous year, and the highest since 2004).

As part of the tropical fruits exhibit, Aussie Passionfruit enjoyed a great position right inside the main entrance of the Woolworths Pavilion – the busiest pavilion at the show. Samples of passionfruit were handed out together with a passionfruit recipe brochure, while brand ambassadors communicated key messages to consumers.

A total of 21,400 passionfruit samples were distributed, as well as 40,000 brochures, and feedback about both the fruit and the stand was overwhelmingly positive.


Passionfruit - Easter Show

Aussie Passionfruit at the Sydney Royal Easter Show


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2017-06-23T23:53:09+00:00