Tasmania's fruit fly restrictions could mean fewer local cherries on the table at Christmas
Author: ABC News

Tasmanians will be unable to purchase cherries prior to Christmas from any growers within the fruit fly control zone, unless biosecurity restrictions are relaxed.

Fruit growers within the control zone — which stretches from Stony Head in the state's north to Ulverstone in the north-west — have had to abide by strict quarantine restrictions since the fruit fly outbreak in January.

Most cherry growers were not impacted previously, as the incursion hit at the end of their season, but they fear the upcoming season may now be "wiped out" because of the pest.

The only way fruit from within the zone can be sold is if it is fumigated or has gone through a 16-day cold storage process.

Warren Viney, who is one of the north-west's biggest cherry growers, said he won't "ruin" his Spreyton Fresh cherry crop by fumigating it, and cherries won't last through cold storage, so unless biosecurity measures are relaxed his cherries will be off the market.

"There will be no pre-Christmas sales," he said.

"People will come down the driveway and as it stands now, we won't be able to sell anyone any cherries at all."

Nearby cherry grower Shane Weeks said pre-Christmas cherry sales are lucrative to those on the north-west coast.

"All that fruit on the tree, we don't know what's going to happen to that now," Mr Weeks said.

"We've still got to crop that fruit, spray it and maintain the trees and do all that, but we can't sell it locally.

Read the full article online -ABC News Tasmania's Cherries

Published: Thursday 6th September 2018
Author: ABC News
More Info: ABC News

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Last Update: 06-09-2018 09:13