Fingerlime grower Jade King explores international scene as Nuffield grantee | North Queensland Register

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Achieving consistent quality in finger lime fruit will be one of the goals for a new Nuffield Scholar in horticulture.

Jade King, Director and Owner of Green Valley finger limes on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has received a scholarship supported by AgriFutures Australia.

According to Ms. King, the issue of consistency is key to expanding the market for native Australian fruit, both nationally and internationally.

The family’s commercial finger lime farm has more than 1700 trees, including 1200 Champagne Red and about 400 Chartreuse and 100 Emerald.

The company plans to increase its production to more than 2000 trees.

“We supply to key markets across Australia and export to countries such as Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong. Our fresh finger lime season runs from December through July,” said Ms. King.

The Australian finger lime industry is a relatively young industry and not much research has been done to support it.

“As an Australian indigenous product, Australia must lead the way in finger lime production and research and retain ownership of this unique indigenous fruit,” she said.

She plans to travel to Italy, Spain, Japan and the US, where there are burgeoning industries and markets for citrus fruits, affectionately known as “lime caviar” because of the little balls of juice that pop in people’s mouths.

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“By being one Nuffield As a scholar, I can explore a unique and amazing indigenous Australian product in depth, share what I learn to help others in the industry and promote Australian agriculture and products,” said Ms King.

Last year, Green Valley Fingerlimes won the New Exporter Award winner at the 2021 Queensland Horticulture Export Awards.

The final round of Nuffield Fellows was announced via virtual ceremony in October.

Each 2022 Nuffield Scholar will receive a $30,000 stipend to spend on travel over the next few years.

Jodie Redcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of Nuffield Australia and a 2013 grantee, said the program will provide producers and agribusiness professionals with global perspectives that will help them learn, remain competitive and grow.

“We love the passion and ideas our new 2022 grantees have shown in their applications,” said Ms. Redcliffe.

“There is a strong focus within the cohort to find and share innovations that can make Australian agriculture and associated value chains more resilient to changes in the environment, regulations, markets and consumer expectations.

“We look forward to working with this group as they strive to help their business and industry thrive now and into the future as we navigate a world recovering from the pandemic.”

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