AU: Victoria cherries looking 'fantastic', production peaking

The Victorian cherry harvest is now full time for Wandin Valley Farms orchard, with between five and six tonnes being packed per day. “We began picking on October 22, and have just reached peak production. It’s looking like a fantastic season with plenty of cherries for everybody,” says Alison Jones, Wandin Valley Farms grower and President of the Victorian Cherry Association. “Everyone’s had a good crop as far as we can tell, and the rain we’ve had has been beneficial.” 

Wandin Valley Farms has 60-70 seasonal workers helping with packing in the shed, alongside 200 pickers and a full time permanent staff during this peak time. They expect to be busy all season. “We’ve also started picking our export varieties today, including Chelan, Samba, Bing and Lapin. They’re all looking very good too,” adds Ms Jones. 

Fruit size, particularly for export varieties, is very good, according to her so this year’s cherries are performing well already. “We’ve got new orchards, two more in Victoria, and we have another one in Tasmania, so we’re hoping to keep expanding and regain access to key markets.” 

Prices are always up at the start of the short 100-day season, which coincides with cherries being part of the Christmas dinner table, but they will level out soon, Ms Jones says. “There will definitely be affordable cherries available. We’re really trying to encourage people to start buying cherries earlier, and remember the season lasts 100 days, so it’s time to start buying fresh cherries from now on.”

New South Wales cherries had the official season launch on October 31 in Young, but Victoria’s season launch is to be held later in November. The event is timed to happen when there is already an abundance of fresh cherries in stores for people to buy, Ms Jones says. 

For more information

Alison Jones
Wandin Valley Farms
Phone: +61 3 5964 4669

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