Lemon and Lime

Lemons quite pricey in Australia right now

Lemon prices have gone soaring because of the weak Australian dollar; local supermarkets are selling the fruit at top dollar. Lemons in Woolworths and Coles are selling for as much as $2 each, or $8.80 per kilo, at a time of year when the fruit is most popular. The normal retail price is about $3.99-4.99 per kilo.

Lemons are always slightly more expensive during the Australian summer because they are imported from the United States, Citrus Australia chairman Ben Cant said: “ There's some Australian lemons around, but it isn't enough to meet demand so we import from the US and a limited amount from Spain. The exchange rate in the US is making it more expensive than the normal Australian fruit.”

"The light supply also coincides with higher demand ... because [there is] more use for them in recipes and drinks and alcohol at this time of year. The few Australian growers who have fruit at the moment, they'll be getting good money but they won't have a lot of lemons."

Cant said prices would come down in March when more Australian lemons were ready to be picked. "As soon as Australian fruit is available we ask consumers to help us out and get back on board. We can't beat Mother Nature.”

Source: smh.com.au via www.freshplaza.com 

Publication date : 1/9/2019

Australian lemon growers should export

Australia is seeing an increase in lemon plantings, as well as increase from new growers entering the industry, says Citrus Australia. With this increased growth, there is a push for lemon growers to export produce.

According to Queensland grower Michael McMahon from Abbotsleigh Citrus -part of the Nutrano Produce group- only 4% of Australian lemons are exported, and with 9% going into processing, 87% are sold onto the domestic market.

Nielsen Homescan Data shows that 50.6% of domestic shoppers buy lemons, last year, consuming 2kg of these a year. Sales spike during Easter in line with fish sales, and they spike again during Greek Easter, said McMahon.

Abbotsleigh Citrus has made a concerted effort to export more lemons in recent years and develop new markets to avoid the rising tide of Australian-grown lemons and to gain an advantage on exports from South Africa and South America.

The prices Abbotsleigh received in Indonesia for lemons recently was lower than the domestic market. “We still made a profit but we’re thinking long-term and investing in development of export markets,” McMahon told foodmag.com.au. He sees opportunities in China, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the USA.

Hong Kong and Singapore are easy markets for most countries to access, while Indonesia can be unreliable due to quotas, according to Citrus Australia.

Publication date : 10/29/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Taste Australia yields big results in foreign trade

In the 12 months since Hort Innovation launched its boldest foreign trade initiative to date, the industry has reported record export sales and greater demand for Australian grown produce.

Underpinned by more than $40 million in research and development projects, and backed by world-class science and technology, the Taste Australia initiative was developed in response to industry calls for a cohesive, national export project to drive foreign interest and demand for Australian horticultural products.

The initiative was launched at Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) last year, which is the largest specialised fruit and vegetable trade event in Asia. The project proved so successful, it is now being rolled out in 10 countries across Asia and the Middle East.

Australian growers will once again showcase their premium products under the Taste Australia banner at AFL next week with a Hort Innovation delegation of more than 220 stakeholders, representing 80 Australian businesses across 528 square metres.

The extensive trade effort over the last 12 months saw the value of fresh horticultural exports reach a record $2.18 billion for the year ending June 2018, with over 40 per cent of this value being driven by the export of citrus fruits, table grapes and cherries.

Hort Innovation General Manager for Trade, Michael Rogers, said the export results not only demonstrated the value of Taste Australia activities, but also positioned the Australian horticultural industry well within foreign markets.

“Australia has a solid reputation for delivering high-end produce that has undergone the most rigorous inspections along all stages of the supply chain, and the Taste Australia brand builds on this,” he said.

“We have been exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica for more than 10 years. When Taste Australia launched last year, we found it increased our engagement with key stakeholders across Asia."

“Through the Taste Australia brand, we are strengthening our homegrown produce on a global stage, bringing high quality, high-end premium goods to international markets.”

The Taste Australia campaign is funded by Hort Innovation using industry research, development and marketing levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Key Export Statistics
In the year ending June 2018, more than 264,000 tonnes of fresh citrus was exported valued at more than $440 million. Citrus exports were dominated by oranges ($280 million) and mandarins ($140 million).

Export values across combined citrus (including grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges) increased 48 per cent in just two years from $297 Million in 2015/16.

The single most valuable horticulture product exported was table grapes, achieving exports valued at $384 million. The value of table grape exports has grown consecutively over the last seven years.

For more information;
Farah Abdurahman
Tel: +61 447 304 255
Email: Farah.Abdurahman@horticulture.com.au
Publication date: 9/3/2018


Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

Indonesia boost for Australian exporters

Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will mean reduced tariffs and greater opportunities

Australian farmers will have tariffs reduced and be able to export more agricultural products including citrus to Indonesia, after the coalition government signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

It gives producers and exporters the opportunity to grow their A$3.5bn share of the Indonesian market - indeed, Indonesia is Australi's fourth-largest agricultural export destination.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the coalition government continued to deliver farmers better access to more markets.

“This agreement improve access for industries which trade most to Indonesia, including our livestock, beef and sheepmeat, grains, sugar, dairy, citrus and horticulture,” he said.

“Oranges and limes will get increased duty-free access while dairy, mandarins, potatoes and carrots will get reduced tariffs," he confirmed.

The conclusion of substantive negotiation of IA-CEPA was signed in Indonesia by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Key agricultural outcomes of the IA-CEPA include immediate tariff cuts on mandarins from 25 per cent to 10 per cent for 7,500 tonnes per year, down to 0 per cent after 20 years for an unlimited volume, and duty free access for 10,000 tonnes of oranges per year, increasing 5 per cent each year, as well as duty free access for 5,000 tonnes of lemons and limes per year, increasing 2.5 per cent each year.

The agreement also means immediate tariff cuts for potatoes from 25 per cent to 10 per cent for 10,000 tonnes per year; after five years tariff further reduced to 5 per cent for 12,500 tonnes per year, increasing by 2.5 per cent per year, and immediate tariff cuts for carrots from 25 per cent to 10 per cent (from 25 per cent) for 5,000 tonnes per year; down to 0 per cent after 15 years for an unlimited volume.

Australian supermarket chain Coles vows to stop importing lemons

Major Australian supermarket chain Coles announced on Monday it would cease importing lemons and instead stock Australian-grown fruit year-round, Weekly Times Now reported.

It said this would include the window between December and January when most Australian growers struggled to produce a commercial crop and retailers were left to rely on imports to fill the void.

Coles general manager Brad Gorman said the move to close the summer supply gap was part of the retail chain’s “Australian-first” sourcing policy.

Citrus Australia chairman Ben Cant said it was good news for growers.

“Otherwise those lemons would need to be sold in a peak production period, which would push prices down,” Cant was quoted as saying.

“So anything we can do to ease the bubbles of supply, the better the returns are on average for growers.”

Queensland lemon growers Kathleen and Stephen Stenhouse, from Bundaberg, said many citrus suppliers talked about bridging the import gap.

Australia is a net lemon importer, with most coming from the US.


Asia drives export expansion for Australian citrus

Market Outlook Forum shines light on sector’s growth, which shows no signs of slowing down

The role Asian markets are playing in Australia’s booming citrus export trade was not understated at Citrus Australia’s Market Outlook Forum in Sydney last week.

Addressing more than 180 delegates at the event, Citrus Australia’s CEO Nathan Hancock said 91 per cent of Australian citrus exports were traded to 14 countries in 2017, of which 12 were in Asia.

Hancock noted that events like the forum help delegates understand what consumers in key Asian markets want – both in terms of product and how they prefer to buy it. He said it was also imperative that the industry continued to campaign for the reduction of trade barriers in these lucrative markets.

Elsewhere, IP Australia’s counsellor to China, David Bennett, assured delegates that the Chinese intellectual property system was stronger than some had been led to believe. He urged businesses to register trademarks early.

Keith Sunderlal of SCS Group gave an overview of the Indian market and the potential to export premium fruit there, while David Hughes, a professor at Imperial College London, said citrus could increase its market share globally by offering smaller quantities that appeal to smaller households and increasingly time-poor consumers.

In closing the two-day forum, Citrus Australia’s new chairman, Ben Cant, said strong biosecurity and food safety regimes would ensure Australia continued to grow its export programmes.

“Retail is changing rapidly, digital is having more and more impact on consumers, we need to evolve, adapt, survive and then thrive in this landscape,” he said.

The event also recognised innovation within the industry, particularly where varietal development and marketing are concerned. Craig and Bindi Pressler of 2PH, Helen Aggeletos and Maria Costi from Venus Citrus, and Frank Mercuri and his team at Pacific Fresh were all presented with Citrus Australia Supply Chain Innovation Awards.

Hancock said the sense of optimism that exists within the industry was evident throughout the event.

“The Australian horticulture industry exceeded A$1bn in exports in 2017, which was the first time we’ve achieved that in a calendar year. The citrus industry contributed 42 per cent of those exports, which is a remarkable figure.”

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones

Citrus Australia welcomes new Chair

Ben Cant is a third-generation citrus grower, packer, marketer and exporter. He spent 15 years running a modern packhouse in his family business, which supplied both major supermarket chains and export markets.

During this time, Ben implemented changes to increase efficiency, out-turns and retail packaging options. He has a broad experience in orchard and packhouse operations, biosecurity and logistics. Ben was also previously on the Board of Riversun Export.

At the end of 2017, Ben’s family orchard was acquired by the Costa Group. He is so passionate about the industry, that there was never a doubt he would remain active in it, and he has taken up the role of Citrus Supply Manager for the Costa Group.

The Board elected him Chair at its meeting on Wednesday.

Ben joined the Citrus Australia Board as a Grower Director in 2012, and he said he has been proud to have been part of initiatives that have increased grower returns and the profitability of the industry.

He said he was humbled to be elected to the role.

“The recognition by my peers, the Board and the wider industry is a humbling experience. I will strive to do my best to deliver greater outcomes for the citrus industry,” Ben said.

“I’ll bring experience, broad production and supply chain knowledge, and passion to the role, as well as a team approach, a collegial atmosphere and an inclusive environment.

“I hope to continue the industry’s upward trajectory, have even greater grower engagement, increase Citrus Australia’s membership and continue to support the terrific work the existing team is already doing.”

He thanked the outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership and contribution during her eight years in the role.

“Tania has many years of hands-on growing experience and was able to lead the Citrus Australia board with a high level of rapport with the greater horticulture community,” Ben said.

Greg Dhnaram was reelected the Deputy Chair.

Greg welcomed Ben into the role and said he would bring a range of experience in, and passion for, the citrus industry to the role.

“Ben has a great understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our industry,” Greg said.

“The Australian citrus industry is enjoying strong prices thanks to unprecedented export demand, supported by the tireless work of the Citrus Australia members, staff and board. I’m confident Ben will lead our company and industry to continue the strong trajectory.

Greg also thanked outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership during her eight years in the role.

“During her tenure, Tania’s achievements include defending grower interests in backpacker labour reforms and raising the profile of citrus at all levels,” Greg said.

“Tania was the inaugural Chair of the Voice of Horticulture and she was the driver in addressing many other issues in the industry, for which we thank her.”

For more information:
Citrus Australia
Tel: +61 3 5023 6333

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Market trends in focus at Citrus Australia forum

Tickets have sold out for the highly anticipated bi-annual Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum – the only national event for the citrus industry for the year.

More than 150 representatives from the growing, packing and marketing sectors of the citrus industry will attend the Forum in Sydney on March 14 and 15.

“With the Australian citrus industry in a buoyant phase, thanks to strong export markets and continued unprecedented demand, this Citrus Australia event will be a unique chance to be part of the conversation to set the industry’s course for the next five to 10 years,” Nathan Hancock, CEO of Australia Citrus, said.

“The key players in the country’s citrus industry will gather in one venue and hear from an impressive line-up of speakers from both Australia and overseas.

“This event will provide unparalleled opportunities to learn and network,” he said.

World-renowned experts will present on current and future trends in the export and domestic markets, including the impact of e-commerce and other technologies.

One of the event’s keynote speakers Tristan Kitchener will discuss how the Australian citrus industry can take advantage of the seismic shift that e-commerce is creating in the retail sector.

Amazon entered Australia’s e-commerce landscape to much fanfare last year, and its impact on the sector is yet to be fully realised. Tristan highlights that Amazon has 320 million products compared to Woolworths’ 20,000 and Coles’ 17,000. He said the tech giant also has “phenomenal ability” to use data to forecast changing consumer behaviour.

He said business such as China-based online marketplace Alibaba provide an unprecedented opportunity to market high-quality produce to Asian’s middle class, as more than 400 million consumers use Alibaba across Asia.

Tristan advocates for supply chain members to collaborate more closely to better understand consumers and meet their needs.

Fellow speaker Noel Shield is CEO of JWM Asia Holdings Limited, part the Joy Wing Mau group that is the biggest distributor of fresh produce in the Asian region. He will share his insights into Asia’s changing retail landscape and suggests that, as a high-cost producer, Australia must shore up its position as a high value, high quality, niche marketer.

The Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum, in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Complementing the extensive program are the social events, including a pre-dinner event aboard the HMAS Vampire and an Official Dinner.

Using the hashtag #CAForum18, attendees can continue these conversations online.

For more information about the event, visit https://www.citrusaustralia.com.au/event/2018-market-outlook-forum

Publication date: 2/22/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

AU citrus growers called to upgrade to new food safety system

A significant change in how citrus growers manage food safety may be imminent with peak industry body Citrus Australia calling on growers to get on board now and take advantage of available help.

“If you grow any table citrus including mandarins, navels, grapefruit, lemons or limes, to be sold in the major supermarkets then this applies to you,” said Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock.

The changes have come about as retailers work with Hort Innovation to simplify the red tape that multiple food safety audits have created.

Under the new system called HARPS (Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme), growers must now meet one of three base schemes for food safety: Global GAP, SQF or Freshcare.

“Many growers have relied on HACCP up until now. However the HARPS system does not recognise HACCP as a food safety system,” said Nathan.

“I share the opinion that HACCP provides a good set of food safety principles but on their own they are not a system that can be audited. However, many of the HACCP principles are evident in the three recommended systems.”

Citrus Australia supports the continuous improvement of industry to meet food safety obligations and is a member of Freshcare – the fresh produce industry’s own on-farm assurance program – because it is a system developed by growers, for growers, using R&D levies.

“To assist growers to become compliant we have put resources into becoming Freshcare trainers and are offering training direct to growers,” said Nathan.

“We want to help growers achieve a successful audit and offer post-training services as part of our initial training cost to help ensure growers are audit-ready.”

Growers need to be well prepared before audits because they can be very expensive. Auditors often will remain on site until all non-compliant issues are rectified or, worse, have to return at a later date to conduct a second audit to close out issues.

Citrus Australia ran six Freshcare training sessions last week and have more sessions planned over the next three months in the Sunraysia, Murray Valley, Riverina and Riverland citrus-growing regions.

“Increasingly we are seeing importing country governments implement food safety standards as they look to protect their populations,” said Nathan.

“Likewise, imported produce to Australia is held to very high standards – often Global GAP with additional microbial tests and maximum residue limit testing, as well as a new push to meet ethical standards.”

Growers have until the end of this year to complete training and have an audit done during harvest.

For more information:
Nicole Zerveas
Citrus Australia Ltd
Tel: +61 03 5023 6333

Publication date: 2/12/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

First Egyptian lemons arrive in Perth markets

The first Egyptian lemons of the season arrived in the Perth market on Wednesday 8 November. Graham Morgan, from Bullfrog International, had the lemons and said the quality of the fruit was very good.

“The lemons are a good colour and clean, a big improvement on last year.”

Egyptian citrus imports grew exponentially last year, however lemon volumes were not large because the Egyptian lemons were too green for the Australian market.

This year, BGP International, the Australian company responsible for the first imports, took a hands on approach to ensure Egyptian lemons would satisfy the Australian consumer’s requirements.

Allen and Sue Jenkin from Ironbark Citrus in Queensland, travelled to Egypt on behalf of BGP, to share their expertise on de-greening citrus with the Egyptian packers who work in partnership with BGP.

“As a result of the information sharing trip by Allen and Sue, and the enthusiastic response they received from our Egyptian partners, we can see a fabulous outcome with the first lemon arrivals”, said Neil Barker, Managing Director of BGP. “We are planning a strong increase in our lemon imports from Egypt based on these improvements”.

“In addition to our Australian program we are now shipping the better coloured and graded lemons to China and achieving great results” he added.

Australian consumers will enjoy Egyptian lemons through until the start of the local season in February.

For more information:
Neil Barker
BGP International

Publication date: 11/8/2017
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Vietnam – a major player in lime & mango exports

R2E2, a variety of mango that was introduced to Vietnam by Australians around 10 years ago, has been a driving force that has catapulted Vietnam into becoming a major player in the exporting of R2E2 mangoes.

According to Tu Phan the Managing Director of Anh Duong Sao in Vietnam explains, “A group of Australians came to Vietnam some years back and decided to grow R2E2 mangoes here. This is because Vietnam’s climate and growing conditions reminded them of Queensland Australia. Since then Mango farms have grown ten-fold and, because of this, the fruit can be seen anywhere from Asia to Europe.”

Phan added, “Our Company owns thirty hectares of land which we use solely for growing R2E2 mangoes. The fruit is famous for is good color, and red skin. It is deemed as very attractive versus other varieties of mangoes according to the Chinese. Because of these traits, the fruit is very profitable. Unfortunately they are not really appreciated in the local market, thus R2E2 are solely for export. Our export markets are in Asia (Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and Singapore), the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Canada.”

In the past Vietnam wasn’t always considered a big player in the lime business, countries such as Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and India were leaders in the industry. But, since four years ago, Vietnam has emerged as the largest supplier of limes – beating out the incumbent leaders.

"We don't only produce R2E2 mango but fresh limes as well. As for Vietnam, our country is the biggest supplier to the Middle East, because of our proximity and, arguably, we are the biggest supplier in the world. We are famous for our quality and affordable prices. Although the size of our lime is smaller than the ones coming from Brazil, Vietnam is still able to export 10 containers (300 tons) per week by ship to the world.”

For more information:
Tu Phan
Anh Duong Sao (Vietnam)
Email: tuphan@anhduongsao.com

Author: Lawin Ileto / Yzza Ibrahim

Publication date: 10/13/2017
Author: Yzza Ibrahim
Source: www.freshplaza.com

Lemon research drives Australian sales


With key health research on their side, Australian lemon suppliers look set to increase their presence in Asia over coming seasons.

A new study from Tufts University (US), published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, blamed 10 nutrients for 45.4 per cent of cardiometabolic deaths in 2012. The researchers found that the largest number of diet-related cardiometabolic deaths were related to eating too much salt.

“Lemon zest and juice has proven to be an effective way to reduce salt in our diets,” said peak industry body Citrus Australia in a release. “This in addition to other health benefits associated with increased lemon consumption, including increasing Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, and providing antioxidants, which are beneficial for your skin.”

Consumers in Asian countries are growing increasingly aware of the health properties of lemons, as evident by the recent lemon detox craze that gripped a number of Far East countries, including Japan, South Korea and China.

Ensuing demand has seen Australian lemon sales increase from just under A$1m in 2012 to A$8.5m in 2016. The greatest demand has come from Indonesia, which absorbs close to 70 per cent of all Australian lemon exports. Singapore (11 per cent) and the Philippines (6 per cent) are also strong markets.

The Australian lemon season is now underway, with Queensland growers tending to crops over the last few weeks.

Australian lemons are not widely available during summer, with imported lemons, mainly from the US, used to fill a gap in the domestic market. Retailers will continue to offer a mix of imported and local lemons until more local lemons are available.

The Australian season is expected to run through until November.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com Author: Matthew Jones

Image: Lemons Pixabay_Couleur