HAIL-damaged apples are hitting supermarket shelves as the South Australian government delivers $60,000 to re-boost the Hailstorm Heroes campaign.
Apples impacted by the severe hailstorm last November are being sold under the brand Hailstorm Heroes, that was launched by Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone at the Adelaide Central Market last month.
Minister Whetstone said the $60,000 will go to the Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA for the campaign and urged consumers to rally behind the state's apple industry.
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"It is important consumers understand that while there may be small hail marks on the skin, it is still sweet, juicy and delicious on the inside," Mr Whetstone said.
"The Hailstorm Heroes campaign instigated more than $1 million in sales from the previous hailstorm event in 2017."
Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA chief executive officer, Susie Green, said it was more important than ever that consumers get behind the apple industry which grows 30,000 tonnes of apples, worth $63.5 million to the state's economy.
"South Australians purchased more than 1000 tonnes of fruit through the Hailstorm Heroes campaign last year helping growers salvage returns from their crop and this year it's even more important to support local growers," Ms Green said.
Woolworths will also be selling Hailstorm Heroes as part of its Odd Bunch range.
Royal Galas will be the first apples available at supermarkets and greengrocers.
But the superficial marks may be more visible on varieties picked in late autumn, such as Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples.
Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand used this opportunity to urge consumers nationwide to reconsider their purchasing habits and not ignore slightly imperfect fruit when selecting fresh produce.
"Growing consumer preference for aesthetically appealing fruit means our growers are having to bin a lot of perfectly edible and nutritious fruit and vegetables," he said.
"Farmgate waste is an ever-increasing concern among our industries that not only takes hard-earned money out of our growers' pockets but contributes to the global food waste crisis.
"We have had a summer of damaging weather across the country and many growers have been affected by either drought, flooding, cyclones and more.
"Many have lost crops, but importantly, many have nurtured their surviving crops so that we can maintain a steady supply of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables."