Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 23rd 2015 Contents NEW TOOL TO DETERMINE
GRAPE OR WINE PRICES
Over recent decades the relation-
ships between growers and wineries have
increasingly been reduced to writing in the
form of complicated contracts and industry
An outcome of this trend has been a
weakening of value chain principles.
In a value chain, every link, from the
grower to the consumer, understands
inter-dependence; the need for every link
to be strong for the business or industry to
grow and be viable in the long run.
In a perfect value chain, besides hav-
ing a relationship with his/her customer
(the winery who purchases his/her grapes),
the grower actually knows who is purchas-
ing the end product. Likewise, in that per-
fect value chain the wine consumer knows
who grew the grapes and where they were
In the grape and wine industry many of
those older-style relationships have stalled
It’s true the Riverland’s boutique and
artisan wine producers build and maintain
strong value chains, but most members are
bound by contracts with larger organisa-
tions where the lack of transparency and
pressures on field staff make it difficult
to know where who the consumers are.
Contracts and the code have placed the
emphasis fairly and squarely on indicative
prices and their release in mid-December
To assist growers in understanding the
relationship between the price per litre for
bulk wine and the indicative prices offered
for grapes, Riverland Wine has developed a
simple ready reckoner.
This tool makes it very easy to see what
the price per tonne can be, based on the
price per litre of bulk wine at the point of
All members are urged to go online and
use the tool and provide feedback. In the
next few weeks Riverland Wine will set up
a link to enable members to reference bulk
wine prices on-line.
Let us know what you think about the
Australia crushed 47,000 tonnes (or
approximately 45 million bottles) less
chardonnay in 2014 than 2013.
Early indications are that the 2015 crop
could well be down again on 2014 vintage.
A combination of many factors, includ-
ing the weakening of the Australian dol-
lar against the USD and other customer
exchange rates, lower fuel (freight) costs
and the recognised style and quality of
Australian chardonnay at all price points
has some long term industry observers
sensing a return to balance.
“I’m not saying that I’m ready to go out
planting again yet!” said Jack Papageorgiou
of Renmark, a veteran of 40 vintages.
“ There are some encouraging signs but
certainly I will not be planting without a
sound contract with a reputable winery.”
Riverland Wine has observed a sharp
increase in interest in the ‘grapes for sale’
listing and a moderate push up in price.
Chris Byrne, of Riverland Wine, said “the
spot purchase price for chardonnay has
moved to $235 per tonne this week with
strong interest from several larger winer-
ies and large parcels of shiraz and cab sauv
have been snapped up”.
He added: “It may be that buyers are
anticipating lower yields across most
regions but there do seem to be some
green shoots emerging.”
It’s still early to be predicting yields with
confidence but for those with grapes for
sale the signs are encouraging.
Several months ago, Trevor Noble and
his team relocated their GrowSmart opera-
tion to the Loxton Research Centre, one of
the first Riverland Businesses to seize the
opportunity to move to the centre prior
to its redevelopment as part of the SARMS
GrowSmart Training is an incorporated,
not-for-profit organisation that has been
providing quality training since 1997 in the
Trevor and his team provide train-
ing from Certificate 2 to Diploma level
in Horticulture, Production Horticulture
and Conservation and Land Management.
GrowSmart used to be known as the
Riverland Horticultural Council.
Many of GrowSmart’s courses are sub-
sidised by government so this makes the
cost of building your skill-base more afford-
able. The organisation works closely with
the Commonwealth Government’s Skills
for All funding. GrowSmart Training is a
Skills for All training provider.
Visit www.skills.sa.gov.au for eligibility
Riverland Wine encourages all members
to review their range of skills even if you
think, ‘I’m just a grower’.
There is often a tendency for growers to
under-value themselves, Trevor said.
“But it’s amazing how many skills they
all have,” he said.
“We can build their confidence by iden-
tifying these skills and showing them how
easily they can transfer those skills to other
industries or businesses, especially those
for whom maintaining a fruit growing
enterprise is just too difficult.”
GrowSmart Training also delivers the fol-
lowing short courses:
Chemcert (one day course) and
ChemCert Re-accreditation (one day) –
required for people wishing to purchase
and handle S7 chemicals.
Using and Maintaining Chainsaws
(one day course) – essential for anyone
who uses chainsaws.
Operating Quad Bikes (one day
course) – essential for anyone who uses
Vertebrate Pest Technician licence
Staff leadership and Management
(two day course).
For more information including full
details of fees and charges contact Trevor
on 08 8584 5147 or 0448 328 227 or
18 COUNTRYSIDE www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 23, 2015
KOREA, CHINA, THAILAND AND
TAIWAN 2015 CITRUS EXPORT
Applications are still open for growers to nomi-
nate orchards/blocks for export to Korea, China,
Thailand and Taiwan in the 2015 season.
The first step in the process will be for growers
to complete a tree census form with Citrus Australia
and to nominate blocks for export to Korea, China,
Thailand and Taiwan (KCTT).
The new online system that links the KCTT pro-
gram with the national tree census has been imple-
mented as a result of difficulties experienced in
previous seasons. The system will provide an earlier
start to the export season, streamline the applica-
tion process, remove the duplication that occurs
from year to year with the current paper-based
system, provide real-time information on the status
of applications and audit outcomes.
How to enter the KCTT export program:
1. Complete the national tree census and indi-
cate your interest in the program. If you are unsure
how to do this contact treecensus@citrusaustralia.
com.au . You will be given a user name and password
to enter the electronic system. Please retain those
2. After you complete the tree census, you will
receive an email asking which blocks you would like
to nominate for the program.
3. Re-enter the system with your user name and
password. Nominate blocks, export markets and
4. This step must be completed by growers by
January 31, 2015.
5. Your packing-house will receive an email advis-
ing that you have nominated them as your packer.
Your packing house will now have access to the sys-
tem and will manage the application from this point.
FOR PACKING HOUSES
1. Packing houses for KCTT and Japan export
markets must register with Citrus Australia, contact
email@example.com .au for a registra-
2. Packing houses must have all blocks surveyed
by a registered crop monitor between February 1
and 28. Registered crop monitors must send the
official survey report to packing houses by February
3. Packing-houses must upload the official survey
report into the system by March 3.
4. Packing-houses must upload an orchard map
into the system by March 3.
5. Packing-houses must sign an electronic decla-
ration (in the system) that orchards have met quar-
antine requirements by March 3.
6. Your application is now complete and packing-
houses will receive confirmation by email.
7. The Department of Agriculture will contact
packing-houses to audit some of the orchards/
blocks being nominated for export.
8. Once audits are complete, packing-houses will
be notified of the progress of applications by the
Department of Agriculture.
CHEMCERT AND CHAINSAW TRAINING
DATES FOR 2015
GrowSmart Training is a Riverland-based,
incorporated, not-for-profit organisation that has
been providing quality training since 1997 in the
The following dates for 2015 courses have been
ChemCert: 9am-4-30pm both days: March 5 and
6, April 29 and 30, June 25 and 26, September 15
and 16, December 9 and 10.
ChemCert re-accreditation: 9am-1 -30pm:
February 6, March 27, May 22, July 31, October 13,
Chainsaw training: 8am-5pm: March 3, May 5,
June 30, September 1, November 3.
For all interested growers please contact
GrowSmart Training on 8584 5471 to secure your
CASAR IDO Sam Rogers will be holding a grower
day in Sunlands on Wednesday, January 28.
The meeting will focus on spray application pre-
sented by experts in this field and on farm demon-
strations on the day.
There will also be a grower day in Loxton towards
the end of February, with more details to follow.
All growers interested in attending this grower
day should contact Sam Rogers at sam.rogers@
citrusaustralia.com.au or on mobile 0477 110 933.
The CASAR committee held its first monthly
meeting for 2015 and would like to report on the
The theme of this year ’s SA citrus promotion is
‘bringing back citrus into sporting events’.
We will continue working closely with the SA
citrus industry, CAL as there is a lot of work to be
done between now and a projected launch date of
A detailed summary will be provided to industry
at our regional forum meeting scheduled in April
CASAR will continue to work closely with Citrus
Australia, government and their departments both
at a state and federal level to address many
issues including biosecurity, market access and
CASAR chair Con Poulos was recently appointed
as the horticultural councillor to Primary Producers
SA (PPSA), the peak agricultural body in South
Australia, which is chaired by ex-Premier Rob Kerin.
Con aims to bring to the discussion horticultural
issues that extend across various commodities and
regions including water, biosecurity, investment
and trade within the horticultural sector in South
Australia as well as particular focus on the Riverland
as the premier horticultural growing region in the
At the time of writing this column CASAR IDO
Sam Rogers is travelling around the Riverland with
David Daniels (citrus market access manager) and
Nathan Hancock (manager market information and
quality) from Citrus Australia.
Sam, David and Nathan are visiting Riverland
packing sheds and growers to discuss the tree cen-
sus, Korea, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan online
grower/packer registrations, crop estimates, quality
standards importing country requirements/work
plans, Korea, China, Thailand online training, and
the Department of Agriculture communications.
If you have questions about anything in this
week’s column or an issue that you would like
discussed please contact the chair Con Poulos at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Sam Rogers at
email@example.com or on mobile
0477 110 933.
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
SOUTH Australians travelling to the Riverland
during the Australia Day long weekend have been
urged to remain vigilant against the threat of fruit
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon
Bignell reminded travellers they would face hefty
fines for carrying fruit or vegetables into the
Riverland without an itemised receipt.
“South Australia remains the only Australian
mainland state that’s fruit fly free, and it’s in every-
one’s interest to ensure we stay free of this destruc-
tive fruit pest,” he said.
“Biosecurity SA – a division of Primary
Industries and Regions SA – will operate random
road blocks during the Australia Day weekend, so
the message is clear: if you’re travelling into the
Riverland, don’t take any fruit or fruiting vegetables
into the region without an itemised receipt.
“Given the Christmas Day fruit fly outbreak
in West Croydon, and the intense campaigns and
operations Biosecurity SA has conducted in recent
years, there’ll be no tolerance shown to anyone
caught with prohibited fruit and veg at the road
Minister Bignell said the State Government
invested about $5 million every year to help keep
South Australia fruit fly free.
“We know fruit flies are more active from
November to March, so staff from Biosecurity SA
will continue to be vigilant in policing the move-
ment of fruit and vegetables for the rest of summer,”
“As well as random road blocks, there are quar-
antine stations, signs and disposal bins at key loca-
tions across the state – including road entry points,
airports and rail terminals.”
If you find maggots in fruit or vegetables, or sus-
pect fruit fly or other plant pests or diseases, imme-
diately call the fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010.
For more information go to www.pir.sa.gov.au/
LAST week’s humid
and mild weather has
put a dampener on
this year’s dried fruit
season, with drying
times varying and some
crop losses due to rain
Angas Park supply
manager of dried fruit
David Swain described
last week’s mild weath-
er as “not ideal”.
“It would have been
nice to have more (high)
temperatures around to
finish the apricots off,”
“The higher tempera-
tures certainly allow for
the apricots to be dried
In the past fortnight,
have varied significant-
ly, with 19.8C recorded
on January 10, while
last Thursday reached a
maximum of 25.2C.
“About 90 per cent
of the apricot varieties
(had) been harvested
before the rain,” said Mr
While the mild
weather was not optimal
for drying, Mr Swain
said it meant the quality
of the fruit was “gener-
“The fruit is holding
its shape this year,” he
“The blemish on the
fruit has been minimal
for local dried fruit
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