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The Passion Vine

The Passion Vine – March 2017

21 Turramurra Road, Tarragindi, QLD 4121

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March 2017

President’s Report By Tina McPherson I am sure that the summer of 2017 is one that won’t go down in the history books as one most of us will recall fondly! For many passionfruit growers the long dry hot season has been difficult and provided us with many challenges. Early summer Rutherglen bug incursion caused dramas for all. In the Bundaberg region we have had the hottest summer on record and the driest in a very long time. I know each region has suffered their own challenges. On a positive note the market pre Christmas remained steady with good fruit supply and reasonable prices so all was not doom and gloom!

breeding programme will be presented by Peter Bundock at the General Meeting in April.

As an association we are making progress with the challenges we set ourselves for the year. Changes to the constitution have been proposed and are available to members for comment and suggestions. These will be voted on at the General Meeting in Northern NSW next month.

I urge you to attend the General Meeting in Northern NSW if you can make the time. The general meeting provides the opportunity to air any issues you have, find out what is happening with the breeding project and get an update on other association activities. There have certainly been rumblings of discontent felt and I believe it is best to get

Jann Bonsall has comprehensively completed an audit of all our inputs, as an association, to breeding to establish the quantum of our contribution to the current breeding programme being undertaken. An update of the

We continue to push forward the proposals for a production and supply data project and an exploration of export opportunities with HIA. By the time this newsletter reaches you a second SIAP (Strategic Industry Advisory Panel) meeting will have been held where the new draft HIA Strategic Plan for Passionfruit will be discussed along with these other projects. Movement is slow but it is in a forward direction!

Newsletter of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated

these in the open so we can operate in a transparent and progressive manner. The association’s purpose is to represent all members and if there are problems then these should be addressed. It is an association of volunteers and the executive work to the best of their ability and time constraints in their capacity. All assistance is welcomed and participation encouraged. The meeting format will be a general meeting, followed by a presentation by Peter Bundock about the breeding project, a visit to the Duranbah Trial Block and for those who wish, a visit to the trial block at Burringbar. Happy Easter to all.

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Passionfruit Australia Incorporated Executive Committee and Sub-Committees President


Tina McPherson

Sean Russell (JE Tippers)

15 Zinks Road Bundaberg QLD 4670 P: 07 4159 3001 M: 0428 415 930 E:

PO Box 27, Brisbane Markets QLD 4006 P: 07 3379 1041 M: 0418 158 331 F: 07 3379 4817 E:

Secretary and Vice-President


Jim Gordon

Jane Richter

PO Box 119 Yandina QLD 4561 P: 07 5446 7536 M: 0403 185 961 E:

160 Judds Road Glass House Mountains QLD 4518 M: 0431 700 258 E:



Ian Constable

Keith Paxton

260 Boyds Lane Dulguigan Via Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 6826 M: 0428 181 246 E:

31Atkinsons Road Woombye QLD 4559 P: 07 5445 9387 E:

Industry Services Manager Margie Milgate 21 Turramurra Road Tarragindi QLD 4121 M: 0439 596 174 E:

Letters and adverts to the Editor Don’t forget to send your letters or your adverts to the Editor

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Breeding and Vine Trial Committee

Communications Sub-committee

Jim Gordon—Chair Ross Brindley Peter Griffiths John McLeod David Peasley Brian Westwood Keith Paxton

Jane Richter - Chair To be advised This sub-committee gives oversight to the levy funded Communications Project which runs until June 2017. This includes the magazine and website.

Integrated Pest and Disease Management Committee Keith Paxton—Chair Steve Grey Ross Brindley Ian Constable

Sub-committees are important to the operations of the industry as they concentrate their energies on specific topics and then provide advice and recommendations back to the Executive. Their wonderful and volunteer work is greatly appreciated and shows commitment to the development of this passionate industry. For information regarding administration issues for Passionfruit Australia Incorporated please contact: Margie Milgate, 21 Turramurra Road, Tarragindi, QLD 4121 Mobile: 0439 596 174 Email: (Please note Margie works 2-3 days a week and if contacted will get back to you as soon as she can.)

For varieties and plantings issues please contact your local Executive Member as listed on page 2. Other enquiries can be made through Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries on their call centre number 132523. All contributions concerning the passionfruit industry are most welcome. Thank you to growers Brian Westwood, Peter Griffiths, Jim Gordon, Nick and Nerida Hornery, Tina McPherson and Jane Richter for their contributions. Also thank you to Kelly McGuinness, Astrid Hughes and Jodie Pedrana from Hort Innovation, and Sean Russell from JE Tipper, This publication of The Passion Vine is edited by Margie Milgate and Jenny Drew. R&D and marketing projects reported in this newsletter have been funded by Hort Innovation Australia Ltd. The advice and opinions in the articles published in The Passion Vine are essentially those of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Passionfruit Australian Incorporated or the Editor. The advice is at the reader’s own risk, and no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of the material presented. Inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product, company or service by Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor.

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Horticulture Innovation Australia Update By Astrid Hughes Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) The skills-based SIAPs have been appointed in phases and the Passionfruit SIAP has now had the independent chair appointed to the panel. The SIAP will meet again in March and a review of the membership will be undertaken considering regional representation and the skillset along with continuity and member refreshment. Hort Innovation sources and appoints chairs for each SIAP. The scope of the chair’s role is confined to the effective conduct of SIAP meetings ensuring good governance and process around discussions. Terms of Reference reflecting this are under development. A full record of

proceedings in each meeting will be taken using an appropriate professional services organisation and is available on the Hort Innovation Growers page on the website. Chair Biography Eoin Wallis

Eoin brings an impressive depth

of experience, with a variety of senior positions across the horticulture and broader agriculture industries. He was the CEO of BSES Limited for over eleven years, operating in a complex farming system in the tropics and subtropics; spent a decade as Executive Director of the Sugar Research & Development Corporation; and directed Plant Health Australia for four years. Eoin has been on the boards of RD&E organisations for more than 20 years, focusing on key areas such as corporate governance, intellectual property, workplace health & safety, and people management. Panel members See table below :




Ross Brindley

Brindley’s Farm


Melissa Smith

Little Brother Agriculture


Tina McPherson

Tina Berries


Keith Paxton

KW & JE Paxton


Brian Westwood

BL & IM Westwood


Sue Granger

P & S Granger


Jim Gordon

J & J Gordon


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PASSIONFRUIT AUSTRALIA FEES Don’t forget the benefits of membership include :  Showing support and being involved in the Australian Passionfruit industry  Accessing industry contacts and information  Discounted cost of royalties on the purchases of Passionfruit Australia plant varieties  Up-to-date information through industry publications, field days and meetings New Grower Membership Fee $253 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fees Renewal Grower Membership Fee $198 incl GST and lobby fees New Associate/Supply Chain Partner $297 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fee Renewal Associate/Supply Chain Partner $242 incl. GST and lobby fee

Bank account details Passionfruit Australia Incorporated BSB: 124-001 Acc No.: 21655088

Memberships run with the fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th each year irrespective of the date joined. Membership lapses if not renewed within three months of end of the fiscal year. Plant Royalties are due on propagation or purchase of all PAI varieties. Fees are payable to Passionfruit Australia Incorporated using a Tax Invoice/Plant Order form available through PAI. These fees are $0.35 per plant for PAI members, otherwise $0.70 per plant for all non-members.

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Regional Roundup From the growers...

SE Queensland By Jim Gordon

Hello everyone. It has certainly been a trying season this Summer. The heat and dry has continued and many of us are wondering how much longer the bores will hold out. It seems that everyone is having flushes of fruit at the same time. One day next to nothing and a week later pallets and pallets. It must be a nightmare for the wholesalers too. After a heap of fruit late February / early March , we have none again now in the second week of March and I suspect it will be that way for quite a while. We are having a major fruit setting at the moment so no doubt we will all have a heap again in a couple of months. Hopefully somebody out there is able to cash in on this rollercoaster we are on this year. With any luck we will be able to talk about all the rain we have had at the next general meeting coming up soon. See you then.

Bundaberg Area By Peter Griffiths

Hello everyone. What’s going on! Now in March the Bundaberg area has been drought declared, the driest February on record and the hottest March day on record. While we still have the majority of our water allocations we need rain before the end of June to reduce the risk of major reductions. We are not the only ones experiencing this heat wave and lack of rain, so

I sympathise with those affected. We have had no or very minimal flower set until now because of the conditions. The passionvine mite seem to love the dry weather in the two year old vines. The fruit that has been picked in the area has been very minimal. But looking at the weather forecast for us, South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales in the coming weeks looks very promising. So fingers and toes crossed it’s only going to get better. That’s all until next time. Thanks.

North Queensland By Brian Westwood

Hi Everyone, Now that the festive season is behind us we look forward to a new growing season with optimism. Water security is on all farmers minds that rely on the Tinaroo irrigation scheme. Tinaroo Dam is 46% full with 100% allocation till June 2017. Mareeba district received around 420mls up to the end of February. Without some flood rains in the coming months we are unsure how the growing season will roll out. Our early plant of Pandora vines have started flowering, the warm humid weather has produced fast vigorous growth to young vines. The most northern growers Lakeland Downs and Cooktown and the coastal growers from Mossman also have established their new vines for the 2017 season. Hopefully

for all the growing districts the season will be kind. Kind regards.

Northern NSW Area By Nick and Nerida Hornery

Like most regions the Northern Rivers have experienced a very hot and dry end to summer. Some Ballina old timers were saying it’s the driest they have ever seen it. The NSW Fire Service backed that up saying Ballina needed 180ml of rain just to get the soil back to normal moisture levels. This affected our autumn crop with a very small crop set which fell reasonably heavy for a few days at the end of February, but numbers fell away dramatically from there. Fruit is starting to set now ( mid March ) which should produce a bumper Winter crop in June - July. We received some rain at the start of March ( FINALLY! ) but since then it has been fairly dry again. As I write this there is rain falling on the roof with some very good totals forecast over the next 4 - 5 days. So hopefully we will get some run off into the dam. All the best.

For Sale Passionfruit Grader KW design, bin tipper, creep feed, 4mt gas drying tunnel, brush unit, 8mts belt sizer, 6 bin rotating packing stations. Located Bundaberg $20,000 Ph 0438 599 520.

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The Passion Vine – March 2017

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Marketing Report By Kelly McGuinness

Point of Sale In January, 170 POS kits were sent out. These kits contain 2 front of house posters, a backroom poster and recipe idea. The next lot of kits will be sent out prior to the winter flush. Summer Media Outreach and Coverage Media and high profile health influencers, including Lyndi Cohen, The Nude Nutritionist, received fresh passionfruit hampers to enjoy a taste of the unique tropical fruit. Lyndi talked about passionfruit on TODAY Extra, talking about how it’s a healthy topping and finishing touch for salads. The summer media kit contained a season release, fact sheet, recipes and applications, fresh peak season passionfruit and glass jar to serve the passionfruit sauce.


Summer was a busy time for Aussie passionfruit in the media, with top lifestyle magazines featuring peak season passionfruit. It appeared in the summer issues of Women’s Weekly FOOD, a feature in Nourish Magazine, The Healthy Food Guide, Woman’s Health, and New Idea with top tips and recipe ideas. So far, we have had 180 total media and social clips, with a reach of over 8.3 million. (See photo below) #finishwithpassion The #finishwithpassion Instagram competition ran from November to mid-January encouraging fans to share their favourite ways to finish a dish with Aussie Passionfruit. We received 81 entries in total with fans sharing delectable tarts, muffins, cakes, and healthy

brekkie bowls topped with passionfruit. We received 12% engagement during the promotion, as well as increasing our followers by 25%. (See photo top right on page 9) The grand prize winner, Jess Bushby, enjoyed a dinner at Rockpool, home of Neil Perry’s famous passionfruit pavlova, as her reward. Social Media ‘Finish with Passion’ is about showcasing how Aussie passionfruit can transform an ordinary dish into something special by simply adding a splash of natural and tangy passionfruit, whilst promoting seasonality, selection, storage and handling tips. Our social pages continue to grow, with over 37,700 Facebook fans, and 826 followers on Instagram. Our top post on Facebook was our Australia Day Pavlova post, which reached 33,885 people, and had an engagement rate of 7%, well above the industry benchmark of 3%. (See photo bottom right on page 9) On Instagram, another fan callout, paired with appealing passionfruit imagery, was the best performer, with 142 actions and an engagement rate of 12%. We’ll continue to tap into our fans’ love for cooking and baking with passionfruit by asking them how they use it.

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Social Media Posts

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Market Report By Sean Russell Question : How not to be bored in a mundane job? Answer : Get involved in the passionfruit industry. After 25 years of selling passionfruit I thought I had experienced it all. But the passionfruit gods had other ideas. Today the market may be inundated with fruit forcing prices down and tomorrow the vines will stop producing and push prices up. Next week will be 40 plus degrees creating quality issues and prices will be all over the place. This year has been so different from any other that I can recall. Quality and quantities are up and down like a yoyo creating price fluctuations on a regular basis. This has been due to summer being extremely hot with very

little rain creating a lot of flower drop. There has also been major damage caused by the Rutherglen Bug destroying a lot of flower set thus reducing what little remained. Prices for passionfruit have soared and plummeted on a regular basis depending on supply. Growers have been left at the mercy of the elements no matter what efforts they are putting in. Summer is finally at an end and we have had some rain. Things should start to get back to normal and we should start to see some consistency from April /May. Good luck to you all.

Pictured above : Sean Russell at the market before Christmas


Passionfruit Australia Licensed Nurseries

Freshcare Update Options

J & V McLeod Campbell’s Road Dungay NSW 2484 Ph: 02 6672 3503

Growers who are updating to the new Freshcare Version 4 are reminded that there are several ways to do this. The new documents are available on the Freshcare website for you to download. You can also purchase the new Freshcare Manual and start using it. This was the option favoured by your Vice-President Jim Gordon who thought the investment of $82.50 for the manual a good investment.

Widebay Passionvine Nursery 408 Dahls Road Calavos via Bundaberg Q 4670 Ph: 07 4159 7394

There is no requirement to undertake further Freshcare training if you are on top of these changes and have someone in your business that has been trained to Version 3. Training is available for new employees or people wanting assistance to update. If you have any further concerns or questions about these requirements, please contact Freshcare on 1300 853 508.

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NBN By Jane Richter The roll out of the NBN is continuing slowly across Australia and back in April 2016 the first of two dedicated NBNCo satellites was launched to provide better internet access specifically to rural and regional Australia. After a lengthy battle, I was connected to the new satellite service on 1st October and although it is yet to deliver the speeds promised, it is a huge

leap ahead from where we were. For more information about the NBN visit their website http:// If you would like some assistance in navigating how to get on to the satellite service, please give me a call and I’m very happy to help and advise based on my experiences with them. Tel: 07 54387662 between 6 -8pm is best to catch me indoors.


General Meeting and Field Day Invitation Passionfruit growers are invited to a General Meeting of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated to be held on Wednesday 19th April 2017 commencing at 1 pm. The meeting will be held at the Court House Hotel, 60 Main Street, Murwillumbah . The General Meeting is being called to give an update to growers on the activities of the Passionfruit Australia Executive and to gain feedback from industry on issues that are of concern to them. Members will also be asked to vote on a motion to make some changes to the constitution that the committee believes will bring the organisation up to current professional practices. A discussion paper has been prepared and is being sent to all members in time for this discussion to be held. If you have not received these notices by the time you get this magazine, please contact Margie Milgate and it will be forwarded to you. An update on the industry breeding project will be given by Peter Bundock who is a research scientist from Southern Cross University. This will be held at the Court House Hotel meeting which will then be followed by a field visit to the trial block at Durambah. Growers who are interested, will also be able to follow this with a visit to the further trial work being conducted at Burringbar.

Invitation to General Meeting of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated When: 19th April 2017 Time: 1pm Where: Court House Hotel 60 Main Street Murwillumbah NSW 2484 Topics:    

Update from Passionfruit Australia Executive Issues from Growers Constitutional Changes Breeding Project

Note: Maps to field day sites will be available on the day

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Tropical Hort Group Meets Again By Margie Milgate

Pictured: Rachel McKenzie from Growcom, John Tyas from Avocados Australia, Jolyon Burnett from the Australian Macadamia Society, Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association and Diane Fullelove from the Australian Melon Association

There is more power in numbers, and this is why members of other tropical fruit and nut organisations meet about every 23 months to review what is happening in our industries and develop some combined positions. The most recent meeting was held at the offices of the Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland on the 10th March. Topics covered included:  Funding for educating growers about the ethical treatment of workers – new program to be rolled out nationally by Growcom

and called the Fair Farms Initiative Horticulture Innovation Australia and issues around the funding of peak industry bodies to undertake consultation regarding industry information on their behalf National representation and how this works between Voice of Horticulture and the National Farmers Federation Plant Health Australia and the ability to use them as a levy source for

research and development projects Update on the Horticulture Code of Conduct and the need for an effective education program for growers to understand their requirements and the penalties that both growers and their marketers may face if they do not have the appropriate contracts and arrangements in place.

These are issues that are further discussed at meetings of Passionfruit Australia. If anyone would like a further briefing, please let me know.

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Integrated Pest and Disease Management Update - March 2017 Keith Paxton is calling for your feedback. Jodie Pedrana from Hort Innovation has asked the passionfruit industry to let her know the top 5 priorities for pest and disease management in passionfruit. This information is required to feed into the next AgVet Forum which will be held in May/June this year. Members of the Integrated Pest and Disease Management Committee believe that any work

in this area for the passionfruit industry must be for products that will fit into an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches so that beneficial insects are not killed and they need to have zero or very short withholding periods. These growers believed that the top five are:  Sucking insects  Mites  Alternaria alternata disease

 

Brown spot disease, and Septoria

Jodie has also advised the committee that the passionfruit industry was successful in receiving two grants in a round of funding for work on new permits for the industry. The projects have been contracted and the company Eurofins will undertake the trials to hopefully achieve label registrations.

ChemClear Collection in Queensland

held nearly every second year. “The program has collected over 178 tonnes of unwanted agvet chemicals from Queensland farms and businesses since its first collection in 2006,” Mrs Nixon said. “That is a huge amount of chemical to divert from landfill, creeks and water tables and it’s a great testament to Queensland agvet chemical users.

Growers are advised that ChemClear has scheduled a collection for the state of Queensland in June 2017. To schedule your collection, you need to register your chemicals by phoning 1800 008 182 or visiting

To date, more than 11,800 lt/kg of obsolete agricultural chemicals from approximately 66 waste holders are registered for collection throughout Queensland. National ChemClear Manager, Lisa Nixon, said Queenslanders were great supporters of ChemClear, with collections

“By booking in and delivering these chemical products for safe disposal, we have a cleaner and greener State”. Farmers and landowners have until April 28 to register their unwanted chemicals online or by ringing the hotline, with all registered persons to be notified of collection locations in their council area in May.

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International Women’s Day By Margie Milgate As I write this article it is Wednesday the 8th March and it is International Women’s Day. A few things have touched me already today and I thought I would share these with you: Firstly, the men at the ABC have turned it over to the women for today and the women are doing all the radio broadcasts. And doing them well too!!

Secondly, I was sent an article by a colleague of mine Naomi Edwards regarding a major new project looking at women in rural environments. Called the Invisible Farmer Project it is said to be the largest ever study of Australian women on the land. The three-year project is funded by the Australian Research Council and supported by the ABC and many other organisations. If you would like

to pay tribute to a fantastic farming woman you know, you can upload a photo and provide up to 500 words to The ABC site says that by sharing your stories you will acknowledge and celebrate the extraordinary, creative and vital role that women play in agriculture and farm communities across Australia.

Pictured above : some of our industry women at the 2016 AGM and Field Day Next, one of the broadcasts I heard from the ABC was rather touching. As I drove to the dentist, I heard about an amazing journalist, Joanne McCarthy, who had been a powerhouse behind getting the Australian Government to set up the Royal Commission into Child Abuse. Joanne also said that it was

Julia Gillard, as our first female Prime Minister that also made it happen, saying that this would bring about national changes for the rights of children. You can find the podcast on http:// conversations/episodes/

On International Women’s’ Day I hope you also have had some time to reflect on women in our industry and think about ways to link and be more connected. If you have ideas on how we could better do this within Passionfruit Australia, it would be great to hear from you.

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Passion Vine Cook Book Eton Mess with Tangy Passionfruit Sauce

Ingredients - Passionfruit Sauce 1 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup water Pulp of 8 passionfruit Method Place caster sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over low heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 3 minutes until syrupy. Stir in the passionfruit pulp and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Allow to cool.

Ingredients - Eton Mess 1 x packet store bought meringue kisses or meringue nests, broken into small pieces. 2 bananas cut into 1 cm thick slices. 2 cups double cream Method In dessert glasses, layer passionfruit sauce with a small handful of meringue kisses, a tablespoon of double cream and banana slices. Repeat the process until glasses are filled. Serve.

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Passion vine march 2017  
Passion vine march 2017