A winning bid of $60,000 has crowned Christine Scalzi 2023 Cherry Queen following yesterday's cherry auction held at the South Australian Produce Market. The 5kg box of South Australian grown cherries came in at a premium of $12,000 per kg!

To celebrate the 2023 South Australian cherry season, South Australia’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market community went head to head in an auction bidding war this morning in Pooraka to raise money for Variety SA.

Angelo Demasi, SA Produce Market (SAPM) CEO, said “It was an honour to see last year’s Cherry King crown one of the SAPM Board Members, Christine Scalzi of Scalzi Produce/Acqua Fillette Australia, the 2023 Cherry Queen. The Market Community have made significant donations to charities, and we are delighted to have partnered this year with Variety SA who will receive a donation of 100% of the proceeds raised from the auction.”

The winning bidder, crowned the Cherry Queen, was supported by a number of sponsors including Ceravolo’s, Bache Bros, the Romeo Foundation, Mario Romaldi, Bentleys, the William Buck Foundation, the South Australian Produce Market, Radio Italiana and other silent parties who contributed to the final donation.

Variety SA’s Chair Tanya Stratton said the proceeds from the auction will make a real difference to the lives of children in need within South Australia. “We’re delighted to partner with the SA Produce Market as their ‘Cherrity-of-choice’ this year. We sincerely thank them and the generous bidders who will help Variety create positive impact for children who are disadvantaged or who are living with a disability in our community,” said Stratton.

The cherry industry farmgate sales in 2022 was $21.525M, with 2.6 million kilograms sold. The Riverland season got underway early this season so we expect to have fantastic fruit for the festive season.
Minister for Primary industries and Regional Development, Clare Scriven, said “The Adelaide Hills region is a significant cherry producing region with approximately 90% of all of South Australia’s cherries being produced here. The start of the cherry season is a wonderful time of year and I encourage everyone to support our South Australian growers as much as they can by buying delicious locally grown cherries.”

Pick a Local, Pick SA! Campaign Manager Penny Reidy encouraged South Aussies to support growers by purchasing in season local cherries. “The recent cooler weather, coupled with the rain, has delayed the start of the Adelaide Hills varieties however later varieties are looking great for closer to Christmas. I encourage every South Australian household to take the opportunity to purchase a box of locally grown South Australian cherries from their independent fruit and vegetable store.”

For more information:
Penny Reidy
SA Produce Markets
Phone: +61 8 8349 4493