Australian Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, will today (Wednesday June 22) join key horticulture industry representatives at the Melbourne Glasshouse to celebrate ten years of continued success for Victoria’s Jazz® Apple. Jazz® Apples are grown and marketed in Australia by The Montague Group, a family owned and operated business boasting three generations in the fruit growing and marketing industry. Today’s event will pay tribute to all parties involved with the Montague led development of the Jazz® Apple, from planting to picking, packing, marketing and selling directly to consumers. The Andrews Labor Government is working in partnership with the Montague Group to create and apply new knowledge, technologies and practices for business growth through research and development. This includes looking at new variety development, pre and post-harvest storage of fruit, and matching consumer preferences with fruit production systems. The Montague Group also builds export capability and takes advantage of new market opportunities by being actively involved in state government facilitated trade activities such as inward and outward trade missions. The Labor Government is boosting Victorian horticultural growers’ access to essential biosecurity control measures. On Saturday, Ms Pulford announced the Government’s $900,000 contribution towards the Sterile Insect Technology (SITplus) program for the development of a new national Queensland Fruit Fly rearing facility at Port Augusta in South Australia. Sterile insect technology (SIT) is an elementary tool used in the battle against fruit flies which decimate horticulture crops. Victorian growers will be significant winners from the program, as SIT will be deployed across the state for area wide suppression and eradication programs. Victoria is Australia’s leading exporter of food and fibre – accounting for nearly a third of the nation’s agricultural exports and generates approximately 190,000 jobs. Jaala Pulford: “The Jazz® Apple was first planted in Australia ten years ago and with its iconic flavour, it’s no wonder it has become an Australian favourite worth celebrating.” “We’re supporting the food and fibre industry through a number of initiatives, including research and development, trade and investment in domestic and export markets, and on-the-ground support for primary producers.