WA Bravo’s biggest commercial season

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
T&C Fontanini manager Lucy Sundahl with some of the Bravo Apples still on the trees.
Camera IconT&C Fontanini manager Lucy Sundahl with some of the Bravo Apples still on the trees. Credit: Holly Thompson

Orchards from Manjimup, Donnybrook and the Perth Hills are expected to supply about 1000 tonnes of Bravo apples to the State, interstate and export markets over the next few months.

This season will be the fourth harvest of the variety, which was developed in WA over the course of two decades by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

This year is expected to be the biggest commercial season since the apples officially debuted on supermarket shelves.

Manjimup grower Nic Giblett from Newton Orchards said she was looking forward to packing the apples, which will be sold to Australia’s two main supermarket chains.

“The Bravo apples already in the supermarkets are ones from Donnybrook and the Perth Hills,” she said.

“In the next few weeks the ones from the Manjimup area will make their way onto the shelves.”

Ms Giblett said Manjimup growers had established trees and so were able to produce more of the fruit than other areas.

“We started growing this kind of apple first and so when supply from the other areas runs out, we can continue to supply supermarkets for the rest of the season,” she said.

Bravo apples are unique to Australia, with WA, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria now all growing the variety.

“This season is the first big commercial season we have had and we now want to focus on fostering the growth of the export market,” Ms Giblett said.

“Last year we had a lot of success in Dubai and this year we would like to expand our outreach.”

She said the product was the only apple variety in the country to have been developed by the government.

“Although it does take a few year to establish a brand, when this apple works everyone wins because it is not owned by any one individual,” she said.

“They are slightly more expensive than your other apple varieties, but a cup of coffee or some highly processed food is often even more so.”

Ms Giblett said she hoped people would think about the care and effort growers needed to end up with the final product and not focus on the price.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she encouraged people to support farmers who produced the fruit by purchasing the apples.

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