NSW to host national cherry conference

Cherry growers and industry representatives from across the country will leave their comfort zones when they travel to Griffith early next month to attend the 39th National Cherry Conference.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) horticulturist, Jeremy Bright, said while Griffith was not a cherry growing area the location had been chosen to give growers insights into a variety of horticultural industries which thrive in the region.

“This year’s conference theme is ‘Harvest and beyond – delivering high quality cherries to consumers’ and there are definitely lessons to be learned from some of the top-end packing houses and exporters in the Griffith area,” Bright said.

The conference which runs from Thursday, August 7 until Sunday, August 10 will feature international guest speakers and industry-focussed workshops as well as tours of local farms and packing houses.

Bright said Canadian horticulturist, Hank Markgraf, would reflect on his experiences as an adviser for more than 950 growers in British Columbia.

“Lynn Long from the Oregon State University, USA will provide insights into world trends in cherry production including Chile, South Africa, China, Central Asia, Europe, Turkey, New Zealand and his home country,” he said.

“Dr Beth Mitcham will share her knowledge of post-harvest treatments – she works closely with the Californian fruit industry where she has developed strategies to maintain fruit quality for export and to control insect and mite pests.”

The conference is supported by the Griffith City Council, NSW Cherry Growers Association, Cherry Growers Australia and Horticulture Australia Limited.

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