update SPRING is in the airFrom industry events to a heritage trail, it’s a strong start to spring for both growers and consumer activation. Words Nardia Stacy, executive manager THIS winter was the coldest in a decade. It resulted in abundant chill being recorded in all our production regions and sound rainfall in the majority of production areas replenishing the dams in time for the onset of the warmer weather. As trees begin to blossom, spring brings a renewed sense of hope and optimism for some positive developments in the sector. WA Apple Heritage and Produce Trail Project We are excited to announce our support for an Apple Heritage and Produce Trail, stretching from the Perth Hills to the South West. This initiative celebrates the apple industry and is being coordinated by Dr Helen Cripps, daughter of the late John Cripps (the horticulturist behind the Pink Lady). The trail will include oral histories from apple producers, growers, breeders and physical and digital memorabilia. Consumers will be able to access links to local growers and products from apples grown in WA via posters and plaques with QR codes. The project aims to promote the apple industry and foster a sense of pride and connection in local consumers. If you would like to contribute resources, please email Helen at h.cripps2@live.com. Industry Connection Pomewest held three biosecurity workshops and annual grower dinner meetings in August, covering all major growing regions, supported by Hort Innovation, the APC, DPIRD and APAL. The biosecurity sessions provided growers with critical information about the current Qfly incursion and the poly shot hole borer response. They were also guided through the APAL biosecurity risk assessment tool to create their own plans. Gillian Reilly from Hort Innovation presented the national marketing program for apples and pears. Gillian’s presentation provided the latest data to support the latest approach to promotional and marketing activities. She also spoke about the national merchandising and quality program set to elevate the presentation of apples and pears in the retail sector to assist in lifting consumption. The dinners were graced by many producers and stakeholders, leading to productive networking and interactive discussions across all regions. What’s Up Next? Committee member and biosecurity workshop host Sam Licciardello with DPIRD’s Dr Helen Spafford. More exciting local events are coming up! We’ll again showcase WA apples at the Perth Royal Show in early October, participate in the WA Horticulture Update Conference and support the Donnybrook Long Table Lunch in November, featuring WA apples and pears as the star ingredients. In addition, Pomewest will now promote the @WAApplesandPears handle directly through our social media platforms. We kindly request your help by sharing your stories with us. “ Attendees ... learned about their fee-for-service investment in two national R&D projects... Suzanne Hill of SW Tafe checking traps at the biosecurity workshop in Manjnimup. In This Edition Susie Murphy-White reports on the review of the PIPS3 project sourced from an information session in early June. We acknowledge the valuable role of female pome fruit growers in horticulture, celebrating their success in the story She’ll be Apples, as well as the outcomes of the quality testing program in the past 12 months. In closing, I remind you that both Susie and I are here to assist you with any industry matters. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help or to offer feedback to help drive our industry forward. New R&D Projects Announced Attendees at recent dinners learned about their fee-for-service investment in two national R&D projects that align with Pomewest’s strategic plan to enhance orchard productivity and lower production costs – they are: 1 NarrowOrchard System Project (NOS) This aims to balance human labour, mechanisation/automation and production for optimal efficiency in temperate orchard systems. The NOS concept pertains to a modern, technologyoptimised orchard design that can endure unpredictable climate changes and market fluctuations.2 Nextgeneration of PIPS 4 This project is in three parts: production, integrated pest and disease management and soils over three years. It is commendable that Pomewest has been selected as the sub-contractor for the Building Sustainable Soils component, which aims to achieve best practices via gap identification, benchmarks and adoption and delivery demonstrating outcomes. Pomewest will also support and collaborate with DPIRD to expand extension activities. It is anticipated that Pomewest will need to increase resources and engage a new project support officer for Pome to facilitate project objectives.