Australian Fingerlime caviar
Australian Fingerlime caviar was started by Sheryl Rennie who has been in the native food industry for over twenty five years, she has specialised in Fingerlimes for the past sixteen years.
Her expertise and knowledge of growing Fingerlimes (Citrus Australasica) allows her to advise other growers on how to increase production and maintain plant health through sustainable practises.
Sheryl was a contributor to the Department of Primary Industry, Prime Facts information paper on “The Growing of Fingerlimes” (www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/primefacts) and she also contributed the Fingerlime section of a book called “Australian Native Plants: cultivation and uses in health and the food industry” by Yasmina & Fazil Sultanbawa.
Sheryl is also a member of the North Coast Rural Producers Consultative Committee for Fingerlimes and other native foods. She is also a member of ANFAB ( Australian Native Foods and Botanicals Limited).
Getting the fingerlime to market
Judy Viola’s citrus nursery was the first to trial 90 cultivars from 1989 selecting 10 varieties of fingerlimes such as Rainforest Pearl, D1 (Rainforest Jade), Alstonville, Byron Sunrise, Emerald, Judy’s Ever Bearing, Rainforest Garnet, Rainforest Diamond, Pink Ice and a new variety Nightcap Gold.
Most varieties have been virus tested and registered with ACRA (Australian Citrus Recording Agency). Trials were also done to determine shelf life in cold storage and the snap freezing technique.
Through these trials protocol was developed with DPI (Department of Primary Industries) for market access to export Fingerlimes to the European Union and domestic markets in Australia.
Sheryl and other growers from the NSW Northern Rivers successfully exported to France in 2004 and established markets in Australia due to all the work from the NSW DPI, Sheryl Rennie and Judy Viola in creating protocols allowing entry to these lucrative markets.