The majority of plums that are produced in Australia are grown in the southern states. Nevertheless, these plums are predominantly produced in Victoria. Over the years, plums have become extremely popular with Australian citizens.
In Australia, plums are classified as either Japanese or European varieties. The plums may also be ‘freestone’, where the stone easily separates from the flesh or ‘clingstone’, where the flesh clings to the stone. Depending on the variety, plums ripen in early summer or late autumn.
Japanese plum varieties are usually larger than the European types and most have red skins. Japanese varieties include the blood plums (such as the red-fleshed Satsuma and Mariposa), the yellow-fleshed, tart-flavoured Santa Rosa and the Gulf Ruby.
The European varieties have skin colours ranging from green to yellow to deep blue. Their flesh is usually yellow and sweet. The European varieties include the yellow-fleshed Angelina, the green-skinned Green Gage and the blue-skinned Tegan Blue.
How are Plums grown and Harvested?
Plum trees produce white flowers, and when these are pollinated they develop into a fruit. The tree usually produces fruit about three or four years after planting. This particular fruit is usually harvested by hand to protect the skin of the fruit, which is easily damaged. It is picked either when they are ripe or when they are firm and then ripened off the tree. The skin of the fruit usually feels soft when it is ripe. Thus, they come off the tree easily when they are ripe.
As of June 2019:
Over 32,241 tonnes of plums were produced and valued at $75.7 million.
The wholesale value of the fresh supply was around $57.8 million. From this total amount, approximately $52.5 million was distributed into retail and $5.3 million was reserved for food service.
The supply per capita averaged at 649 grams, based on the volume supplied.
26% of Australian families purchased this moderately popular fruit, buying an average of 489 grams per shopping trip.
Major Plum Production Areas
This fruit is majorly produced in the southern states of Australia. However, more than half of the production occurs in Victoria, in the Goulburn Valley. Some of the other regions that produce this fruit are Young and Orange and Perth, situated in Western Australia.
Fresh Plums International Trade
Australia is primarily a net exporter of this fresh fruit. Hence, it exports around 3,000 to 7,000 tonnes of this fruit per year. As of June 2019, Australia exported around 6,839 tonnes.