Fruit growing family set to leave the land

Peter Casotti. Picture: Marcelo Palacios
Peter Casotti. Picture: Marcelo Palacios

Peter Casotti, who with his brother Paul and their wives own Raeburn Orchards in Roleystone and Jarrahdale, said the family were selling Jarrahdale and would not be growing in Roleystone in five years.

They will rezone the Roleystone property.

‘Costs have gone through the roof and prices have stayed the same,’ Mr Casotti said.

‘I have four sons and I’ve discouraged them from getting in to the business.’

Adding to the pressure, a Federal authority last year banned Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) control chemical fenthion.

WA growers won a reprieve allowing them two of their usual three sprays, but the Comment News has profiled several growers who have since had significant losses to medfly.

The reprieve ends in October.

Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston’s spokeswoman said 2012/2013 tests on alternative Medfly ‘area-wide management’ tactics in Jarrahdale and the Hills showed growers could produce uninfested fruit without fenthion.

‘The minister understands this is a period of significant change for growers,’ she said.