Canberra, December 7 The official website of the Australian Hilltop Municipal Government recently announced that the annual “National Cherry Festival” celebration in Yangzhen, which belongs to the city, has been cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
According to reports, Yangzhen, which has the reputation of “cherry capital” in Australia, has developed the cherry industry for about 150 years. Because of the suitable climate, soil, lighting and other natural conditions, the cherry fruit grown is full and sweet. Yang Town, with a population of more than 10,000, is more than an hour’s drive from Canberra, the capital of Australia, and the cherry industry has achieved an annual output of 4,000 tons. In recent years, the influence of Yangzhen’s National Cherry Festival has been expanding day by day, attracting tourists from all over Australia to visit. At this time last year, Yangzhen celebrated the 70th National Cherry Festival.
Affected by the epidemic this year, the Cherry Festival has been cancelled. On the weekend just past, the reporter saw in Yangzhen that the streets were as quiet as ever, and only a small number of tourists came to pick cherries. However, as one of the largest cherry orchards in the region, Batinage Cherry Garden is still busy. In the processing plant of the park, cherries are screened, subpacked and refrigerated. Most of the cherries here are exported to overseas markets, including China.
Cherry orchard director Matthew Batinich told reporters that the cherry industry in Yangzhen is facing major challenges, with heavy rainfall this harvest season, “many ripe cherries have been destroyed”, and the coronavirus epidemic has adversely affected fresh fruit exports. Our cherry needs to be airlifted and flights have been drastically reduced due to the pandemic.” Batinic said.
However, in the midst of difficulties, the Chinese market has brought good news to the company.” We have received some orders and hope to receive more in the future,” he said. “We have always been very happy to cooperate with Chinese customers.” Brian Ingram, mayor of Hilltop, said in an interview with reporters that in recent years, the economic development of Yangzhen has been promoted by the entry of local cherry fresh fruit into the Chinese market.