95% of Australia's dried grapes are produced in the Mildura Region. The success of the dried grape industry can be attributed to the dry climate, soil type and the irrigation systems in the area.
The main varieties grown for dried grapes are Sultanas, Currants, Raisins and Sunmuscats. Thompson Seedless (GA Sultanas), normally grown for the fresh fruit market, can also be dried when excess has been produced for the table grape industry.
The industry was established in the early 1890s. At that time, the district's founding fathers, the Chaffey Brothers had around 8,000 acres of the region under irrigation, supplying around 3,500 pioneering fruit growers.
However, in those days transporting fresh fruit by river to Echuca and by road to Melbourne took many days, and produce would often spoil. When a promised rail link to Mildura didn't eventuate, growers began drying their grapes for freighting to Melbourne and other markets.
Today the high quality, light golden coloured fruit produced in the Mildura Region demands a premium on domestic and international markets.
The Australian Dried Fruits Association
The Australian Dried Fruits Association (ADFA) was established by growers in 1907 to protect their interests, and has seen massive industry change over almost a century.
The head office is located in Mildura.
At present an initiative to re-position the dried grape industry and stimulate investment is being developed by the ADFA in conjunction with a number of industry stakeholders and the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The Australian Dried Fruits Industry Strategic Plan 2004-2007 will essentially drive the industry forward, increasing production and improving the viability of growers.
Copies of the Strategic Plan are available from the ADFA.
The ADFA offers a wide range of extension and promotion services to the industry. It operates the ADFA Shop in Deakin Avenue, Mildura, as a shopfront for the industry with a focus on the tourist trade.
31 Deakin Ave PO Box 5042 Mildura VIC 3502
T: + 61 3 5023 5174
Processing and Packaging Facilities
AUSTRALIAN PREMIUM DRIED FRUITS
Australian Premium Dried Fruits has very quickly earned a reputation domestically and internationally for being a leading and consistent provider of superior quality Australian grown dried vine fruits.
PO Box: 1 Merbein South, VIC, 3505