| September 13, 2018

Fruit Industry Statement

The Goulburn Valley is renowned for many things. Certainly one of its major produce exports is its fruit. We are one of the world's great exporters of pears and apples. We also export apricots and now, with the free trade agreements that have been signed in recent years, we're moving into stone fruit as well. The Goulburn Valley are incredibly efficient when it comes to planting, growing and picking our fruit.

Where the Goulburn Valley and Australia lose a large part of its efficiencies, when compared to the rest of the world, is in its packing processes. There's really nowhere in Australia that can pack fruit, can slice and dice the fruit and can actually photograph the fruit and decipher the best colours, the best quality and the right sizes like they can in other countries around the world like Europe and New Zealand. So I'm working with industry leaders right now on a project that might lead to a world-class, fully automated, high-speed, highly financially efficient packing process. It might need some government assistance, but the industry firstly have to do a lot of work in making sure they can bring all the industry players together. The speed at which this work is done in other countries certainly creates an efficiency gap that we're hoping that the Goulburn Valley will be able to overcome if we can join the technology that they have overseas.

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