Tasmanian Tiger Fuji apple

"AU: "The only limitation is the supply"

Scott Bros is a family business which has been growing apples in the Huon Valley for six generations. They grow 16 different varieties on the farm. The biggest volumes are Gala apples.

The company grow and own the IP rights to the Tasmanian Tiger Fuji apple which they were still packing when FreshPlaza went along to visit. This was the last year's crop and the apples still looked very good.

The packing shed where last season's crop was still being packed

80% of the Tasmanian Tiger Fuji crop goes to Hong Kong and China, the rest is sold on the domestic Australian market. According to Andrew Scott owner of the company, returns from the domestic market are similar to those from Asia. They deliver small frequent volumes to the domestic market but exports to China and Hong Kong are big volumes during May and June.

The Tasmanian Tiger Fuji apple and the new Tiger Cider

"The only limitation is the supply. At first apples are airfreighted to Hong Kong. This is only marginally more expensive than sea freight, around 30% more. It has taken us 15 years to get to this point with the Tasmanian Tiger Fuji and we are prepared to take it one step at a time and not just go head on into increasing production as there are big risks involved and markets can change at any time," explains Andrew.

In February a Tasmanian Cider will be introduced to the market, it is a one variety cider made from the Tiger Fuji apple and aptly named 'Tiger Cider'.

Apples for the local independent retailer Salamanca Fresh

Andrew will grow around 500 bins of Tasmanian Tiger Fuji each season. Among the other varieties grown are early varieties such as Japanese Senshu and Tsugaru, and then Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Crofton, Jonagold, Pink lady, Red Fuji, Envy, and Royal Gala which is the biggest volume.

The Houn valley has its own warm micro climate, surrounded by mountains it is sheltered from the westerly winds giving a relatively stable climate only 20 miles from the Southern Ocean.

Andrew's son George working in the packing shed.

Andrew grows 16 varieties in total, some of which are smaller volumes.

"We grow all these varieties to help spread the risk and it also lengthens the season, making a better environment for workers, who can stay here for longer each year. We have enough labour which is made up from backpackers, we need around 40-50 people at harvest time and employ 12 permanent staff as we pack year round. We have seasonal workers who come back year after year which is great for them and for us."

A family affair: Leeanne, George and Andrew Scott

Andrew explains that one of the challenges he faces is the distance to market, but more so is the challenge of Mother Nature which is impossible to predict or control. The benefits are the unique climate and limited pests and diseases in Tasmania which is known for good clean fruit.

"I don't think we use this enough in marketing our fruit," says Andrew. "As an industry we should really be pushing this point to sell our fruit."

He sees the way forward as making continual improvements, finding better ways to do things and having better ideas.

For more information:
Leeanne Scott
Scott Brothers Group Pty Ltd.
Ph: +44 362971230
Email: admin@scottbrothers.com.au

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