Grower Hansen Orchards looks to expand free-apple program from schools to workplaces

A Tasmanian orchard has given away 75,000 apples to schoolchildren around the state and is investigating how to share the fresh fruit buzz with the adult workforce.

AS doctors call for free fruit to be issued to Tasmanian schools as a preventive health measure, a Tasmanian orchard is already generously leading the way.

Hansen Orchards has given away 75,000 apples to schoolchildren around the state and is investigating how to spread the fresh-fruit buzz in workplaces.

Fourth generation apple grower Howard Hansen said he wanted to ensure more Tasmanians developed a taste for the state’s healthy produce.

“There’s no better job than being in the health-food business,” said Mr Hansen, who has orchards in the Huon and Derwent valleys.

The free fruit blitz covered primary and high schools around the state in the last half of 2017, and will continue when school resumes next month. The grower is in talks with the State Government about how to extend its reach to adults in the workplace.

Meanwhile, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has called on the State Government to commit to preventive health care strategies.

The group’s president, Bastian Seidel, said the Government should provide free flu vaccines and free fruit to public schools.

Dr Seidel said a focus on preventive health was needed if the state was serious about getting healthier.

Providing schools with fruit helped create healthy habits for the future, he said.