It’s the start of another challenging but exciting stone fruit season and we're hoping for better returns on our produce prices compared to last year. Here are some updates on a few key projects I have been working on.The committee has made a commitment to increase consumer promotion as they believe it is essential to building domestic demand. We plan to remind consumers of the timing for the local WA stone fruit season as well as all the benefits of buying fruit grown locally.

Our promotions program will be led by in-store tasting demonstrations, thanks to Fresh Finesse who were contracted to the role. This promotional project has been highly effective in the past as it allows us to be face-to-face with consumers to taste fruit samples and engage with knowledgeable demonstrators. More demonstrations are planned this season compared to the past two seasons, which were limited due to Covid restrictions and concerns.

This year, in addition to once again carrying out demonstrations in IGAs, Woolworths, Spudshed and other independents, I am happy to announce Coles is being added back to the schedule after a twoyear absence due to Covid and sourcing issues.

The Western Flower Thrips delimiting survey in the Perth Hills is underway.We will again be utilising social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, to drive consumer awareness and promotion of our local WA stone fruit. We will be publishing posts about when fruit is in season, recipe ideas, grower activities, and connecting with stone fruit growers. Find us using the tags @WAStonefruit or #WAStonefruit.

The Western Flower Thrips delimiting survey in the Perth Hills is underway. This project is intended to look at what thrips are present across a single stone fruit production season to see if there is anything new, or changes in behaviour. All monitored varieties have surpassed shuck fall with few thrips found to date.

Plaque thrips is the predominate thrips species to date with Western Flower thrips not expected to appear until later in the season. We will report findings at the end of the season once the data has been analysed.

On the topic of Western Flower Thrips, Imtrade CropScience is working on some new products for WFT and will soon be looking for trial collaborators/locations to assist with regulatory trials. We will keep you posted through the grower newsletter for expressions of interests to participate.

MORE INFORMATION Contact David Broadhurst: (08) 9374 3333 or david.broadhurst@perthnrm.com