Author: Fiona Hall
We’re loving the new varieties that are coming onto the market and have spent the past few years preparing our Kanzi apples for production. We hope you get to enjoy one soon!
The Orange Apple Ramble 2017
Meeting at Food HQ at 11am, for a apple variety showcase, then hopping on a bus to arrive at Nashdale for a 2.5km stroll through a commercial orchard, a heritage apple orchard, into a trufferie and finally native vegetation with the final destination at Lake Canobolas.
Stations of apple based tasting plates and local ciders will be available along the stroll with music at the lake kiosk. Local growers will be participating in the ramble to educate guests on the history of the industry and how apples are grown.
Pick your own apples as you go and soak in the glorious views of the Towac Valley.
Cherries are fitness friendly!
We love an article in the Huffington Post that states that cherries combat post-workout soreness.
‘Find yourself having trouble walking down the stairs (or even sitting down) after a hard workout? If you’re looking for a healthy way to fight post-exercise soreness, cherries fit the bill. Studies suggest a cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice can significantly reduce muscle inflammation and soreness (remember that a good workout actually causes muscle damage, resulting in inflammation).
In one study a group of marathon runners drank tart cherry juice or a placebo drink twice daily for seven days prior to their race. The cherry juice group reported significantly less post-race muscle pain. Remember to have it immediately post workout (i.e. with your whey protein) when your muscles are primed to absorb excess insulin in the bloodstream.’
Now that it’s cherry season, make sure you have a bowl of cherries in your fridge ready for your post-workout snack or you can grab a bottle of our freshly sealed, 100% BiteRiot cherry juice from supermarkets such as Harris Farm and IGA. Enjoy!!
From nearby Cargo, Leanne Pearce is about to celebrate her first anniversary working with the BiteRiot team.
Leanne joined the team with an accounting background.
“I have a new understanding of fruit having worked here,” she said. “I love the people here. There are some great characters who are really good value.”
“I’m usually found in the office, but if it gets busy on the apple line, I jump in and become and apple packer.”
A relatively new member of the team, the highlight for Leanne has been the compilation of the Woolworths certification manuals. A modest lass, her colleagues are quick to explain her acheivement.
“It took Leanne five months of typing to put it all together and it was approved on the first go! The auditors actually mentioned in their paperwork that they were impressed with Leanne’s work.”
Leanne added, “You pick up the wad of paper and think, oh wow, I wrote that!”
Scholarship the Cherry On Top for Fiona
Managing 1,000 tonne of fruit in the recent cherry season, Fiona hasn’t had the time to think about the eventful year ahead until now.
“I’m really excited about the opportunities the Nuffield Scholarship presents,” Fiona said. “Essentially, I’ll get to study ways to close the gap between producer and retailer profits and plan to use the information gathered to further strengthen the Australian market.”
Fiona is managing director of BiteRiot Operations, a holistic cherry growing, packing and marketing operation with a team of 22 growers located in Central NSW. The business supports growers from agronomy to harvesting, marketing and reporting back to growers. In the 2013/14 season, BiteRiot Operations handled 1000 tonne of fruit, equating to 10 per cent of the Australian crop. The company exports 60 per cent of the crop to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Dubai and Russia, with the balance going to domestic supermarkets.
Fiona & Bernard Hall also grow apples over four properties located around Orange and two cold storage properties where they pack market apples for themselves and other growers under their ‘BiteRiot’ brand.
She will use her Nuffield Scholarship to investigate how to close the gap between farmgate and retail returns in the apple and cherry industries.
“Our industry adds three times the value of our crop in packing, processing and sorting – I want to look at how we can achieve more value at the farmgate for producers. To understand this I need to study how large packhouses rationalise, streamline, become more transparent, value-add, improve packing, market, use real-time reporting and of course innovate,” she says.
Fiona believes part of the solution is developing an export culture to ensure a sustainable future for growers.
“The industry is under a lot of cost pressure, particularly labour, and to be able to grow we need to take advantage of the opportunities of our clean, green and safe reputation and our location in Asia.
With considerable experience in exporting of cherries, I would like to implement similar strategies into our apple operations,” she explains.
Fiona will visit the UK, USA, China and New Zealand during her studies.
Supported by Horticulture Australia Limited and the Australian Government, the Apple and Pear Australia Limited is also supporting Fiona’s Nuffield Scholarship as part of its strategic plan to encourage the development of future leaders in horticulture and export expertise.
Nuffield Australia is an organisation, which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship.