United Arab Emirates

Free of Listeria - Qatar lab results clear Australian rock melon

The Ministry of Public Health in Doha announced that the analyses of Australian rock melons, which were previously withdrawn from the market, showed that the fruit is free of listeria and any other types of bacteria such as salmonella and escherichia coli.

After receiving a notification that Australian rock melons might be contaminated with listeria, the Ministry detained the next shipment. It has also taken precautionary measures to prevent importing new shipments of rock melons suspected of being unsafe.

According to thepeninsulaqatar.com, the Ministry has stated that it is working with all other stakeholders to ensure the highest standards of food safety are implemented.

Publication date: 3/6/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 







Qatar: Ministry warns against sweet melon

The Qatar Ministry of Public Health has warned against consumption of sweet melon imported from New Zealand and Australia as the fruit is suspected to be contaminated with listeria bacteria.

In Australia, growers and retailers met in “crisis talks” last week as Australian public health authorities urged consumers to throw away sweet melons because of an ongoing Listeria outbreak.

Two people have died in Australia, where the outbreak is linked to a grower in Nericon, New South Wales. Ten people across three states are known to have been infected, including the two who died.

In Qatar itself, according to thepeninsulaqatar.com, it was found that a limited quantity of the suspected fruit was distributed at some outlets on Thursday. The fruit has been withdrawn from the shelves.

The ministry seized the fruit with help of suppliers and outlets. Samples have been taken for laboratory test. The ministry has urged the consumers to return the fruit; if it is consumed and there are any of the following symptoms: high temperature, indigestion or vomiting, consumers should visit a health centre.

Publication date: 3/5/2018
Source: www.freshplaza.com

Australian pome fruit promoted in Dubai

There was excellent promotion of Australian apples and pears at the ‘Taste Australia’ stand at the Middle East’s leading fresh produce trade event – World of Perishables – held in Dubai, from 5 to 7 December.

Promoting Australian apples and pears: APAL’s Andrew Mandemaker at the ‘Taste Australia’ stand at World of Perishables, Dubai, UAE.

‘Taste Australia’ is an initiative of Hort Innovation, focused on in-market export activity to help promote premium Australian produce in current and future markets. It is part of a broader trade push by Hort Innovation to significantly grow Australian horticultural exports by 2025.

Attending the event was APAL’s Quality Project Manager Andrew Mandemaker who represented industry and helped promote Australian apples and pears at the event to importers, traders and supermarkets from the Middle East.

“Export opportunities exist in these new markets, especially for premium quality branded apples and pears,” said Mandemaker.

According to APAL, they are committed to promoting exports of apples and pears in new markets like the Middle East, a strategy in line with the Apple & Pear Industry Export Development Strategy released in August this year.

Publication date: 12/14/2017

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Table-grape, apple and cherry exports drop by up to 34%

While many horticulture crops have sectors have seen growth, others have not been so fortunate in the first quarter of this year. A report released by Euromonitor International last week found table-grape ­exports dropped 34 percent in the first quarter. Cherries, apples and pears also saw a drop of 33%.

The Australian Table Grape Association said earlier this year that harvest was delayed by three to four weeks due to poor seasonal conditions. The industry exports about 60 per cent of its crop with the remaining 40 per cent consumed domestically.

The report found from January to March, Australian table-grape exports dropped to all markets, except for China.

Despite the decline in cherry exports, the report found exports to the United Arab Emirates ­increased in terms of value. This was due to strong cherry prices.

“The price of cherries to the UAE rose strongly, ­reflecting a price point of $12.80 per kg in the first quarter compared with $8.20 per kg in the first quarter of last year,” the report said.

The Australian cherry ­industry aims to lift exports to 12,000 tonnes by 2020-21, which would be an increase of more than 340 per cent in comparison with 2015 export volumes.

source: weeklytimesnow.com.au via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 7/13/2017


Hungry Gulf States make good ag trade mates

Australian Horticultural Exporters Association chief executive officer, Dominic Jenkin, says earnings from the Persian Gulf are not as lucrative as China, but demand is strong and we should not fear market competition.

THEY may not have the booming reputation of some of our nearer Asian export markets, but old trade friends are proving to be good friends in the Middle East.

The energy-rich Persian Gulf, one of Australian agriculture’s notable long-term markets, is fast growing in size and value, particularly for meat and horticulture lines.

Even despite stiff competition from cheap Black Sea grain, the Gulf’s tradition of Australian cereal imports continues to hold ground.

While Asia is conveniently close for our exporters, rising affluence and consumer maturity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar cannot be ignored says business information research firm, IBISWorld.

About 70 per cent of the food eaten in the arid region is imported.

Among other things, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are star consumers of Australian carrots, taking about 44,000 tonnes in 2015-16 – a 19 per cent increase on 2014-15 – worth about $37 million.

Meating the market
Australian meat sales to Saudi Arabia and Qatar climbed 24pc and 29pc respectively in the past five years.

These two meat destinations alone are tipped to be worth almost $500m this financial year.

Australia’s total meat and livestock sales to the region are likely to be worth more than $1b after a 17pc rise since 2012, said IBISWorld senior industry analyst, Sam Johnson.

Liberalised trade laws in the UAE had helped it become a hub for re-exports to the region.

Last month the UAE and Australia confirmed easing in non-tariff barriers on chilled beef and lamb exports, extending the maximum allowable shelf life of these products from about 70 days to 120.

“Not only does chilled meat have a higher market value, particularly to the premium restaurant trade, an extended chilled shipment window will likely reduce transport costs,” Mr Johnson said.

Import trends varied between Gulf States, but exports were generally strong for our meat, horticultural goods, sugar, dairy products and grain for human consumption and stockfeed.

“Saudi Arabia buys a lot of feed grain for its big dairy farms and Qatar recently purchased 4000 heifers from Australia and the US to help build up its own dairy herd,” Mr Johnson said.

Not only does chilled meat have a higher market value, particularly to the premium restaurant trade, an extended chilled shipment window will likely reduce transport costs
- Sam Johnson, IBISWorld

Australian grain exports to Bahrain – mostly wheat – have jumped about 95pc since 2012 with sales forecast to be worth $65m this year.

Former AWB trader turned market consultant, Ron Storey, said while Asia now absorbed about 60pc of Australian grain exports, valuable relationships in the Gulf stretched back 30 to 50 years.

Grain strain
“Until 10 or 15 years ago the UAE mainly only bought Australian grain and Saudi Arabia was our biggest barley market, especially for feed grain,” he said.

“Now China takes record barley shipments from us and the Gulf trade is very price competitive, although we still sell quite a bit of barley there.”

Gulf food commodity markets are hotly contested by Australia, the Europeans, South Africa, the US and even China.

Mr Johnson said fortunately Australia’s lower exchange rate had helped our competitiveness of late.

The horticulture sector is also benefiting from good airline freight rates which have helped shift a rising mountain of produce.

Horticultural highs
“Air freight space into the region is generally in our favour and shipping costs are fairly competitive, too,” said Australian Horticultural Exporters Association chief executive officer, Dominic Jenkin.

“But there’s considerable price competition from the likes of South Africa and Europe.

“Returns from horticultural exports to the Middle East are not as lucrative as China, but demand is generally good and we shouldn’t be afraid of competition.”

Total fruit exports to the UAE – our sixth biggest fruit export market – jumped almost 53pc in 2015-16 with standouts including a 111pc increase in oranges to 9000t, mandarins up 137pc to 6200t, table grapes up 11pc to 7000t, and cherries up 140pc to 280t.

Apart from lots of carrots, Australian vegetable sales to Saudi Arabia include potatoes (2100t), onions (2400t) and celery (up 300pc last year to 241t).

“The Gulf States are a sophisticated market so we work hard to differentiate our products from the competition and promote their Australian origin status,” Mr Jenkin said.

The Qatar question
IBISWorld’s Mr Johnson said despite some notable sales gains, Australia still had a fairly modest market penetration in the emerging region and opportunities for more export growth.

In the near term, however, current political difficulties in the region, with Saudi Arabia and UAE suspending trade with Qatar, could limit expansion into Qatar.

The UAE is a key hub for re-exports to Qatar, the fourth biggest buyer of Australian produce sent to the region.

“Qatar is a high value market which has grown 28pc for Australia in five years, but it’s too hard to speculate what’s going to happen in the year ahead,” Mr Johnson said.​

Source: http://www.farmonline.com.au Author: Andrew Marshall

Image: Dominic Jenkin (CEO of AHEA)