“A lot of the fruits will be targeted towards the domestic [market] in the first month, but starting from mid-season to late season, a lot of the fruits will be headed overseas,” Mr Ling said.
“WA has continually seen the citrus industry growing. I think over the last four or five years production has increased, but I think we’ll still see a little bit more increments in that area over the next three years.”
Leveraging clean and green image
AgriFresh exports under the brand Zestie, one of a number of strong brands in the local and overseas markets, Mr Ling said.
He said WA’s competitiveness on the international market rested in its location and clean and green image.
“We do believe that in the growing regions in WA we have a better growing quality because of our sun units, heat units, as well as the quality of our water and the soil type we have here,” he said.
AgriFresh branched-out onto another property three years ago after a failed managed investment scheme which it converted from stone fruit to citrus.
“It is now predominately mango, seedless mandarin and seedless lemon,” Mr Ling said.
The mandarins and lemons stretch over 70 hectares and mangoes over 45 hectares — the largest seedless citrus orchard in the state and the largest southern mango plantation with 33,000 trees.
“We’ll be looking at getting some part of this property into commercial production next year,” he said.
Over the past 10 years, WA citrus’ picked tonnage has doubled, last measured at 18,000 tonnes in 2014.
Picking near Moora is expected to start at the end of May.