The Tasmanian cherry season commences mid to late December and continues through to late February. The peak of production is through mid to late January. Tasmania has a strong export focus, enhanced by its relative pest and disease freedom.
Tasmania has national and international recognition for Area Freedom status for Fruit Fly. This recognition provides access to a number of international markets where stringent import regulations are in place including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
As an island, and with the strict quarantine controls, Tasmania is also recognised free from a number of important pests and diseases including fire blight. Reduced pest and disease pressure means low level use of chemicals.
Cherries are grown in most regions of the state including Huon/Channel, the south east districts (including the Coal River Valley and Sorell), Derwent Valley, Tamar region and north west coast at Spreyton and Ulverstone.
Due to the fact that Tasmania is an island, it is largely influenced by a temperate maritime climate. This ensures that the fruit has a long gentle growing period which allows the fruit to develop slowly and become full flavoured.
Immediately after harvest cherries are hydrocooled and packed on state-of-the-art specialist cherry grading equipment. Cherries are typically packed into 2kg and 5kg cartons designed to meet export market protocols.
Tasmania cherries are currently exported to over 20 countries across the world including into Asia, Middle East and Europe.
Cherry growers and packers are typically accredited to a recognised food safety and quality assurance system.
All new orchards are medium to high intensity plantings. Varieties planted are chosen according to good bearing ability, good-sized fruit, time of harvest and particularly resistance to cracking. The main varieties (bulk of production) grown in Tasmania are Lapin, Simone, Sweetheart, Sylvia, Regina and Kordia, new varieties including Sweet Georgia.
- No of enterprises: 76
- Number of hectares (estimate): 560
- Production (tonnes): 4,000