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SA cherry season kicks off with auction expected to raise more than $50,000

2021 Cherry King

South Australia’s cherry season has kicked off in time for the festive season, with the South Australian Produce Markets celebrating by hosting an auction set to raise funds for The Leukaemia Foundation.

On Wednesday November 30, a box of the state’s finest locally grown cherries will go up for auction at 7am with bids expected to exceed $50,000, making it Adelaide’s most expensive box of fruit.

The highest bidder will score themselves the title of South Australia’s Cherry King or Queen, and assist former MasterChef star, Callum Hann, in cooking up cherry pancakes for breakfast with the winning box!

In 2021 Anthony Romeo was crowned the Cherry King with a bid of $50,000 which was donated to Camp Quality.

Angelo Demasi, SA Produce Market CEO, said “The Market Community have made significant donations to charities through this annual event and we are delighted to have partnered this year with The Leukaemia Foundation who will receive 100% of the proceeds raised from the auction.”

The Leukaemia Foundation General Manager of Blood Cancer Partnerships, Tim Murphy, said the proceeds from the auction will make a real difference to supporting the 135,000 Australians living with blood cancer today.

“We’re delighted to partner with the SA Produce Market as their ‘Cherrity-of-choice’ this year. We thank them and the generous bidders of Adelaide whose ‘cherriosity’ will help the Leukaemia Foundation ensure blood cancer patients across the country have access to the right information, support and care they need to fight the disease as well as someone to turn to every step of the way,” said Mr Murphy.

The cherry industry contributed $26M to the South Australian economy in 2022, with 3 million kilograms sold. The season has been slightly delayed this year due to colder weather conditions, but is set to be another bumper year for the industry.

Pick a Local, Pick SA! Campaign Manager Penny Reidy encouraged South Aussies to support growers by purchasing in season local cherries. “Excessive rains, combined with continuous cold weather has impacted many early season Adelaide hills and Riverland grown cherries. The season is off to a rough start this year but later season varieties are on their way!”

“Despite the rough start we expect supplies to increase over coming weeks meaning great tasting locally grown cherries to be plentiful in stores for both Christmas and New Year,” Ms Reidy said. “The greatest support South Australians can give our cherry industry is to buy local.”

The SA cherry season commenced at the beginning of November when small volumes started to appear at the South Australian Produce Market from the Riverland.  Adelaide Hills grown cherries are being picked now.

“Look for your local retailer displaying the Pick a Local Pick SA! Sign to know that you are providing support to South Australian growers, wholesalers and retailers.” Ms Reidy said.

First National Real Estate’s, Luke Domingo, will be waving the gavel for the auction, as he entices bidders to spend up big on this year’s box of. Cherries.

The auction will be held at the South Australian Produce Markets on Wednesday, November 30 at 7am with the winning bidder being crowned the 2022 Cherry King.

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About Pick A Local, Pick SA!

Pick a Local, Pick SA is a South Australian based campaign run by Market Fresh SA. The South Australian Produce Market and SA Chamber of Fruit and Vegetables Industries have come together to form Market Fresh to highlight the important role the independent retail sector play in the local horticulture industry. The independent retail sector consists of local business owned by local South Australian families who source the bulk of their produce from local growers.

The Pick a Local, Pick SA campaign reminds customers that when they see this logo, they can feel assured that they are not only buying fresh produce that was handpicked this morning from growers and wholesalers at the South Australian Produce Market. They are also supporting local businesses, local families, local growers, local communities, local jobs, the local industry and the local economy.