NSW DPI manages Australian citrus postharvest program

Postharvest is the link from the orchard through to the consumer and it is essential that fruit quality and market access is maintained through the supply chain. The Australian Citrus Postharvest Science Program (CT15010) is a new Hort Innovation research and development project that will deliver new information and innovative technologies to improve the quality of Australian citrus.

A key focus is to develop a program with ultra-low chemical residues. While managing orchard sprays and  using integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) approaches have worked to reduce chemical use and residues in producing Australian citrus, using postharvest chemicals to control decay makes it difficult to achieve ultra-low residues.

New chemistries and alternative decay control approaches will be developed and adopted to assist industry meet market requirements. Dr John Golding at the NSW Department of Primary Industries is leading the program. John and his team will work with citrus growers and packers around Australia to:

  • develop and assess chemistry and other emerging technologies to address postharvest issues for the Australian citrus industry
  • help industry adopt existing and new postharvest applications through a program of postharvest presentations covering the different growing regions
  • keep industry informed on technical developments in postharvest science and applications through targeted communications using online platforms and other channels
  • identify options for individual growers and packers to engage postharvest services on a fee-for-service basis for advice specific to their business.

The outcomes of this Postharvest Science Program will be essential to ensure the Australian citrus industry’s competitiveness by guaranteeing high quality, safe and nutritious fruit onto domestic and export markets. This will improve the value and market access of Australian citrus.

John will visit all growing regions to discuss postharvest and market access issues with growers and packers and will also give presentations in the later stages of the project. He has already visited packingsheds in SA, Vic and NSW and is looking forward to meeting other growers and packers around Australia.

The program will use existing communication channels such as Australian Citrus News and develop on-line training and information packages on key postharvest issues. This will ensure growers have access to relevant and practical information to improve fruit quality and market access.

The program will also work with leading world researchers such as Dr Lluis Palou at the Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries (IVIA) in València, Spain. Dr. Palou is a world leader in postharvest decay control and will work with the project team to investigate and adapt the latest innovations and new developments for the Australian citrus industry. This project is funded by citrus grower levies managed by Hort Innovation. NSW Department of Primary Industries also supports this project.

For further information John can be contacted on 02 4348 1926, john.golding@dpi.nsw.gov.au