Andrew is located South east Queensland’ s trap rock country near Stanthorpe producing all varieties of stonefruit at the Pikes Creek Orchard.
Adrian and the Conti family own and operate a 100 hectare of orchards in CobramVictoria and near Griffith NSW. The Cobram property has been in the Contifamily for more than fifty five years, and the Griffith property was developed by him and his father, Joe Conti a former board member of SAL which will commence production this harvest season. Adrian’s family grows apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, apples and pears; all sold for domestic and export markets. Adrian has embraced the challenge to provide a positive representation for growers in relation to the major issues confronting industry; water for irrigation, coping with the present difficult economic times and accessing export markets. Also, importantly ensuring that his generation of growers are kept well informed about the issues affecting the Summerfruit industry as a whole, making for a viable and sustainable future.
Mike joins the SAL Board from a consultancy background based around quality control systems, food safety, cold chain management and training. He has recently taken over the daily management of the JW Kirkwood group’s Tasmanian orchard in the Coal River valley, near Hobart. This orchard has 94,000 producing tree’s that include apricots, peaches, plums, cherries and a recent planting of 4,500 new varietal apple trees. Along the way Mike has successfully developed some value added products such as chutneys and ice cream flavourings from reject fruit. Mike’s Industry focus is on quality assurance coupled to marketing. He sees a strong need for strategic knowledge such production detail in order to successfully develop marketing campaigns.
Jason is a dedicated stonefruit orchardist in the Riverland of South Australia. He currently manages his own, Bookpurnong Fruits and wife’s family orchard, which is now coming into the 4 th generation of family members. Jason’s main activities in the last few years has been in varietal assessment and evaluations for various nurseries and Quality Fruit Marketing P/L. “ In 2004 we saw the need to look more closely at the varieties that were coming into Australia to get a better understanding of their characteristics before considering any large scale planting.” Jason hopes to be a valuable member of the new SAL board as well as a representative from his state association to ensure industry develops in a positive direction.
Brett is the 3rd generation of the DelSimone family owning and running Spring Hill Orchard, est 1952. He currently operates the business with his uncle, Jim. The target customers of the business are high end retailers, to achieve this demand fruit is picked meticulously at optimum maturity, then handled and packed carefully. Brett & Jim believe the consumer deserves the very best eating experience possible. Spring Hill Orchard has made the transition over the past decade from a mixture of stone fruit, apples and pears to 95% stonefruit with the recent addition of non-astringent persimmons. These crops suit the warmer growing conditions in Roleystone, compared to other Perth Hills suburbs. The business has recently been discussing value adding methods, such as fruit dehydration, to maximise profits and minimise waste. Brett is a member of the Hills Orchard Improvement Group and currently serves as the Spokesperson for the Fruit Fly Action Group.