South Australia’s top foodies are calling on shoppers to support local apple growers whose new season fruit has once again been left dotted with hail marks.
Last November, a severe hailstorm hit the Adelaide Hills impacting apples as they were just beginning to grow. Eighty-five per cent of the state’s apple crop is grown in the Adelaide Hills and all apple orchards sustained some damage during the widespread storm.
South Australian food ambassador Kris Lloyd said it was the second-year apple growers had lost fruit due to hailstorms and it was just devastating.
“More than ever they need our support,” said Ms Lloyd, head cheesemaker at Woodside Cheese Wright. “This fruit has a few spots on the skin that are natural blemishes and do not affect the texture or flavour in any way, in fact they taste brilliant!
“I encourage you to support your local grower and help make a difference by cutting food waste. And let’s not stop there, tell your friends and family how they can help too. If we all play a part in spreading the word, we’ll make a difference to this very important issue.”
Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA CEO Ms Susie Green said last year South Australians crunched their way through more than 1000 tonnes of Hailstorm Hero fruit, helping growers salvage some returns for their crop.
“This year it’s even more important to support local growers,” said Ms Green.
The South Australian apple industry is still adding up the full cost of damages from the 2017 hailstorm but estimates place losses at around $32 million. It is expected losses from the most recent hailstorm will be similar, with many growers expecting to lose 50 per cent to 70 per cent of their income.
Royal Galas will be the first Hailstorm Heroes at supermarkets and greengrocers. However, all apple varieties have been impacted and the superficial marks may be more visible on varieties that are picked in late Autumn, like your Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples.