CITRUS on Show

WA Citrus was everywhere during the 2023 season – from exclusive space on supermarket shelves to marathons.
Words Noelene Swain, Fresh Finesse
WA Citrus kicked off the season on May 26 with an official launch by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Forestry and Small Business, the Hon Jackie Jarvis MLC.
Surrounded by fresh local produce in Woolworths Inglewood, the event acknowledged Woolworths’ commitment to supply exclusively West Australian oranges in WA for the 2023 season. This industry milestone has become possible as a result of the steady growth in WA citrus production in recent years and the collaboration between growers and the retail chain.
“We know our shoppers favour locally grown fruit and veg,” says Woolworths WA fruit and veg operations manager Rosalind Smith. “The hard work of our WA citrus growers has made it possible for us to offer our customers across the state a consistent supply of exclusively WA-grown oranges for the first time this season.”
WA Citrus industry development manager Bronwyn Walsh welcomed the Woolworths supply agreement as a major milestone for the industry. She also paid tribute to the efforts of all involved in the supply chain, and acknowledged Northern Valley Packers for leading the initiative.
“Being able to supply sufficient WA-grown oranges to fill WA shelves has been a long-term industry goal,” says Bronwyn. “It is possible by sourcing fruit from multiple orchards from Harvey to Moora. It requires dedication from many sectors to get premium citrus to consumers. Growers put a lot of work into producing excellent quality fruit, then packing facilities and marketers bring together the fruit for the final presentation by retailers.”
Other promotional activities included sampling of WA Citrus through July and August. This included 30 independent retail stores in the metro area reaching more than 3000 customer samples, resulting in sales of about 1350kg of citrus during the sessions. Responses from retailers clearly indicate support for this style of promotion, which triggers a direct increase of sales as consumers are motivated to purchase and potentially continue with a new shopping pattern.
We integrated with the social media community at the State of Social Event. This annual Social Media marketing conference in August at Optus Stadium is attended by 700 social media professionals. Organic posting on @WACitrus through Facebook and Instagram achieved a steady social media presence among 1200 followers, with a reach of more than 4000. Analysis indicates posts of industry people continue to be the most popular with the highest engagement recorded as followers like to see the people behind the industry.
Community and sporting involvement continued to be an integral activity to strengthen the link between health, vitality and citrus. This included support of the Perth Marathon Club at big events (6500-plus competitors). Alignment with WA netball associations, including support of major competition weekends and holiday clinics for about 600 players, maintained ongoing contact with netballers.