DOA Cold Storage Inspection in Shepparton, Victoria

29 November – 2 December 2016 Office of Agricultural Affairs joined Mr. Alongkot Phodee, Agricultural Officer of Plant Quarantine Research Group, Department of Agriculture (DOA) on the on-shore cold treatment facility inspection at Valley Pack Cold Storage, Shepparton, Victoria. Four (4) cold storage rooms were monitored for at least 24 hours cycle to ensure proper calibration of the thermometers and air flow distribution. Internal temperature of fruits were recorded using digital data loggers to ensure complete elimination of concerned pests. The inspection went well. If approved by DOA, the facilities will be able to treat and export high valued temperate fruits to Thailand by air. This will replace the conventional sea freight where cold treatment is performed during transportation for approximately one week. Flying in the fruits not only saves time, but also provides better freshness and higher quality fruits. Value Packs expects to export cherries, table grapes, apples and pears to Thailand this summer.

The Thai officials were accompanied by Dr. Andrew Loch, Assistant Director, Horticulture Exports Program and Ms. Julia Lenton, Horticulture Exports Program of Plant Export Operations, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources throughout the trip. The Thai officials had a chance to visit several fruit farms in the area e.g. apples, pears, plums, nectarines etc.