International apple festival Interpoma gets under way in Bolzano, South Tyrol

INTERPOMA EXPATS: Brendon Francis (far right), of Tasmania, is at the international trade show on the apple, Interpoma. Picture: CAITLIN JARVIS.

INTERPOMA EXPATS: Brendon Francis (far right), of Tasmania, is at the international trade show on the apple, Interpoma. Picture: CAITLIN JARVIS.

Huon Valley nursery Tahune Fields Nursery is among Australian delegates attending international festival of the apple Interpoma, held in South Tyrol, Italy.

Tasmanian delegate Brendon Francis said Interpoma was a chance for him to renew some old networks and create new ones as well as being able to see firsthand some of the up and coming apple varieties.

Mr Francis works for Tahune Fields Nursery at Huon.

Tahune Fields is a subsidiary of Oak Tasmania, a company that specialises in working with people living with a disability.

“We are here combining a couple of things, it will be interesting to see the new varieties that are being produced but also to meet and see our nursery partners,” Mr Francis said.

“It [the apple industry] is a continual network but it is hard to pick what will be the next “big thing” in terms of varieties.”

Mr Francis said often he would see plants and trees at a nursery level and it could take 10 years before it got into the hands of a commercial grower, so it was hard to pick what varieties would have an impact on the industry.

So he said events such as Interpoma were great sounding boards for what was happening on the other side of the world.

“It will be good to get different people’s opinions on the new varieties and how they fit,” he said.

Interpoma is an international festival on the production, marketing and selling of the apple and is held at Bolzano, South Tyrol every two years.

Fifth-generation Victorian orchardist Glynn Fankhauser is at Interpoma to help promote a variety of apple discovered on his farm 16 years ago.

Second-generation orchardist Robert Russo, from Victoria, said Interpoma offered a chance to simply observe an apple growing region from the other side of the world.

“It’s really great to be able to just come and see what they’re doing at another part of the world,” he said.

Mr Russo has about 20 hectares of apples in Victoria that he supplies for the fresh and juice market.

Caitlin Jarvis is a guest of the Italian Trade Agency at Bolzano, South Tyrol for Interpoma 2016. The event runs from November 24-26.

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