WAX ON, WAX OFF: Orchardist Peter Darley will save $60,000 thanks to the supermarkets allowing unwaxed fruit onto their shelves. Photo: JUDE KEOGH APPLE growers will save millions of dollars after two major supermarkets relented on their demand that the fruit be waxed to make it look more shiny.
Coles supermarkets moved to selling wax-free apples earlier this month andWoolworths will do the same from February.
Both chains said the move was due to demand for more natural-looking fruit.
Orange apple grower Peter Darley hailed it as a big win justweeks before this year’s harvest.
Mr Darley said spraying apples with wax was expensive due to the high cost of the LPG needed to heat the substance.
He said the LPGcost $1.50 per case of apples.
That equatedto a $60,000 saving for his 40,000 cases of apples and more than $3 million for the 2-2.5 million cases of apples produced in Orange every year.
“A major issue in our favour is that the supermarkets have said they will accept apples that are un-waxed. People are looking to buy the natural product,” Mr Darley said.
“This is a big saving. LPG gas is not cheap, it is like petrol, it is expensive.”
Mr Darley said the spraying was done in packing sheds.
He said shoppers wanted more natural products but it did not mean they would miss out on seeing shiny fruit in their store.
“They will still be washed and polished, just not waxed,” he said.
Growers will also save on labour costs and on having to clean waxing machines.
Coles spokeswoman Jasmine Zwiebel said the move would not effect the price of apples.
“It’s a cost reduction for the growers,” she said.“Fruit pricing is seasonal, prices will fluctuate.”
And she said it would not change the quality or taste.
“The wax applied was safe, edible food wax. Some people will say they [un-waxed] are more fragrant or flavourful but we don’t have any evidence of that,” she said.
Woolworths head of produce Scott Davidson said they had listened to customer demand.
“It has been undertaken in full consultation with both the industry body, Apple and Pear Australia Limited(APAL) and all Woolworths apple suppliers,” Mr Davidson said.
An APAL video explaining apple waxHe said the main reason for waxing was presentation.
“While an un-waxed apple make look duller, it will still taste just as good and will contain all the nutrients that an added wax apple has.”
Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) chief executive officer, Philip Turnbull, said some growers see value in waxing their apples, while some are happy to supply ‘no added wax’ apples.
“We represent all growers and this diversity of opinion,” Mr Turnbull said.
“However, if the major retailers’ move to apples with no added wax means people eat more apples, then, overall, it could be good for the industry.”
According to APAL, apples with no added wax have always been available in many retail outlets and farmers markets.
Organic apples don’t have added wax by definition and many pre-packed apples – apples sold in bags – also don’t have added wax.
“As Woolworths and Coles change to selling more apples with no added wax it may mean changes for growers who may have invested in waxing equipment and the wax itself. It may also complicate their packing lines if they need to wax some apples and not others,” Mr Turnbull said.
“However, we are happy when retailers look at finding new ways to excite consumers about apples and encourage apple consumption.
“We hope Woolworths’ and Coles’ decision to stock apples with no added wax helps to highlight that apples are a delicious and nutritious natural snack.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.