The Australian passionfruit industry

No pavlova is perfect without the sweet tang of fresh Australian passionfruit

Passionfruit are an essential part of many Australian family celebrations, breakfasts or favourite fruit snacks.

For the year ending June 2016:
• 5,196 t was produced
• The value of production was $17.2 m while the wholesale value of the fresh supply was $20.1m
• 19% of Australian households purchased fresh passionfruit, buying an average of 292g per shopping trip
• The consumption per capita was 202g, based on the volume supplied

The Australian passionfruit industry is valued at $17 million and produces approximately 4,000  tonnes of passionfruit per year. The majority of passionfruit is sold as fresh on the domestic market with only 200 tonnes sent for processing.

The industry would like to build more demand through marketing initiatives, an increased focus on quality and the development of export market opportunities. The industry recognises that while such low prices exist for factory grade fruit, it will be difficult to motivate growers not to send less than grade two quality fruit to central markets. This increases the need for the industry to develop value-add products that enable a profitable pathway for its factory grade fruit.

The industry has good engagement with independent retailers and this results in higher quality fruit reaching the consumer and higher prices being achieved. The industry recognises that it has a challenge to engage major retailers so that passionfruit is presented and displayed to maximise
quality, price and to ultimately satisfy the consumer. Data collection in terms of forecasting, productions and quality will need to be systemically collected to support engagement with the major retailers.

Pests and disease are also significant issues that affect production and consistency of supply for the industry. This, combined with the fact that passionfruit varieties lose their vigour over time, make the development of new disease resistant varieties and effective treatments a high priority for the industry. This will require ongoing investment in new variety development, existing chemical registrations and permits, the research and registration of new chemicals as well as development and adoption of integrated pest and disease management practices.

To ensure that all growers benefit from research, engagement and innovations, the industry would like to develop best practice adoption and industry engagement approaches so that all growers have the opportunity to be productive and profitable.