Early engagement core to market access in China

With market access negotiations underway for Australian mainland apples and strong progress made towards the launch of Pink Lady® in China, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) are doubling down on their efforts to forge relationships in the region.

“This is our third visit to mainland China in the last 12 months,” said Andrew Hooke, APAL Director Global Development, of the team’s November trip. “Market access is probably still some time away, but we are doing all that we can to accelerate this by articulating the benefits to China and generating excitement around our product.”

The most recent visit coincided with the China Fruit & Vegetable Fair where Australian fresh produce was appreciated by Chinese officials at the trade display hosted by Hort Innovation and Taste Australia.

During the visit, APAL also participated in the 2018 International Seminar on Inspection Technical Cooperation sponsored and hosted by China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA).

“CIQA plays an important role in securing access for Australian mainland apples so it was quite an honour to have APAL’s own Head of Global Quality and Innovation, Andrew Mandemaker, invited to address the delegates,” explained Andrew. The prestigious event was attended Professor Guo Lisheng, Senior Advisor of CIQA; Mr Paul McNamara, Minister Counsellor from the Australian Embassy; and Mr Adam Balcerak Department of Agriculture.

In addition to informal discussions, APAL was also asked to present to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.

“We are building the business case for the size and sophistication of the Australian apple industry and its value to the Chinese consumer, every chance we get.”

“The quality of the existing commercial relationships between APAL and Chinese government officials and business partners, reinforces our commitment to an industry partnership, which will be a key driver for the Chinese government supporting market access,” said Andrew.

For more information:
Apple and Pear Australia Limited
Phone: +61 3 9329 3511
Fax: +61 3 9329 3522
Email: ea@apal.org.au
www.apal.org.au


Publication date : 1/9/2019

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Japan and Australia to try out year-round fruit production

Project will take advantage of seasonal difference to grow high-end products for export
TOKYO -- Japan and Australia will start as early as April a joint project to harvest high-end fruit all year round, taking advantage of two countries' seasonal differences.

The two countries will contribute farmland, personnel and technology for the project, which is also aimed at encouraging businesses to participate in the unique farming structure.

The two governments mean to develop new markets for luxury produce, which will be targeted at wealthy consumers in China and Southeast Asia.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison agreed on a plan to proceed with building a cooperative structure at a summit in November 2018. The two leaders "recognized the potential for the two countries to boost agricultural exports into international markets through cooperation on bilateral counter-seasonal production," according to a joint statement released after the meeting.

The deal will enable Japanese farmers, who usually grow fruit in summer and fall, to also grow them in Australia when Japan is in winter, allowing them to harvest in all seasons. As the two countries have little time difference, farmers in one can monitor farms in the other in real time using video and provide instructions to staff on site.


The project will start in the northeastern Australian town of Ayr, where melons will be grown on a farm to be set up using land and greenhouses provided by the Australian side.

Japan will dispatch private-sector farmers from rural areas, including Fukuoka Prefecture, to the farm to provide necessary technological assistance and train local staff on farming the fruit.

The farmers will try Japanese farming techniques on an Australian melon variety and see if they can achieve the required quality and sugar content.

The project will seek to set up farms in other areas of the northeastern state of Queensland, where Ayr is located. They will also grow Japanese persimmons and strawberries.

By leading the project, the two countries aim to lay the groundwork for the year-round production scheme to encourage private-sector businesses to enter the unique farming scheme.

The first crop of fruit will be sent for quality inspections in Singapore and Thailand to see if they are viable for sale.

The two countries' interests could collide in rice, beef and dairy production, possibly spurring complaints from farmers on both sides. Therefore, they decided to cooperate in luxury fruit because there should be less overlap.

The cooperation could also attract new demand, including for the gift market. In 2017, Japan exported nearly 40,000 tons of fruit overseas, worth about 20 billion yen ($184 million). The total export volume and value have jumped 160% and 250%, respectively, over the past five years.

As the economies grow, high-income groups are increasing in China and ASEAN countries. With the luxury fruit market expanding, Ginza Sembikiya and other fruit distributors can expect more profit by selling luxury fruit year-round.

Japan and Australia are cooperating in more than luxury fruit. The two countries are jointly conducting a large shrimp farming project in the Northern Territory. In March 2017, Japan signed a memorandum with the government of Queensland to develop a new variety of soybeans starting in April 2018.

The northern part of the country is less populated and developed. The Australian government hopes Japan's technical cooperation will boost development in the area, which includes a third of the country's land.

 

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com

Author: SAKI HAYASHI

 

Australia: Hail causes “significant” losses on cherry orchards in NSW region

A hailstorm that hit Australia in late December has caused substantial losses in a New South Wales region but will not have a significant impact on national volumes this season, according to an industry body.

Although hail was experienced over a wide area of the country last month, damage within the cherry industry is localized to the Orange region, which has been declared an agricultural natural disaster zone.

Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said the damage was incurred from one single hail event.

“Orchards in the hail affected area are significantly affected, but not all orchards in Orange are affected,” he said, adding that there have been no impacts on farms outside this area.

Although the Orange orchards have been severely impacted, Eastlake said the hail would not have a significant effect on national volumes for the 2018-19 season, which is now in full swing.

“Expect overall harvest tonnage is to be up this year, however, the drought has affected yields in some areas and rain (and aforementioned hail) will impact total tonnage. The total amount to be harvested now is unknown and may be down on initial expectations, although there is still expected to be an increase on 2017-2018 tonnage,” he said.
Cherries are grown across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, with small production in Queensland and Western Australia.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

Australian stonefruit ready for retail

New export programme aims to build market share for Australian stonefruit in China

It’s not hard to see why China is the word on the Australian stonefruit industry’s lips.

Having gained direct access to the Asian nation for nectarines in 2016, Australian peaches, plums and apricots were approved for export in late 2017. The opening propelled the industry to its best export performance in over a decade, with 17,785 tonnes of fruit shipped internationally over 2017/18, a 27 per cent increase year-on-year.

China was the leading destination for this trade, receiving 4,985 tonnes of fruit directly, while Hong Kong took 3,308 tonnes.

With the 2018/19 export season getting underway in late November (2018), hopes are high these figures will again be eclipsed.

“Last year we had an exceptional year, our best export year since 2003, and we’re confident we’ll match it,” said John Moore, chief executive of peak industry body Summerfruit Australia.

“It will be the first year of full participation by all summerfruit growers in Australia for exports to China, with fruit primarily coming from Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.”

To aid market development efforts and showcase the full capabilities of the industry, Australia’s Summerfruit Export Development Alliance (SEDA) – a body that sits within Summerfuit Australia – has developed a concentrated retail programme for the Chinese market.

Backed by a Food Sources grant from the Victorian state government, the programme will see eight Australian growers supply fruit directly to selected retail partners.

After SEDA called for expressions of interest in the programme in mid-2018, the participating growers were selected based on their ability to meet defined quality specifications.

An independent programme facilitator, appointed by SEDA, will conduct inspections upon each consignment’s departure to ensure the quality specifications continue to be met, while there will also be a provision for the Chinese retailers to have the fruit assessed upon arrival.

The programme’s remit isn’t just to highlight the quality of Australian stonefruit; it also aims to bring the category to the forefront of Chinese consumers’ minds.

A wide range of point-of-sale and promotional materials have been developed especially for the programme, while participating growers will send extra fruit to the retailers at no added charge in order to facilitate in-store sampling.

The SEDA programme will operate independently from the established Taste Australia retail programme, which also includes stonefruit promotions.

Ian McAlister, chair of SEDA, said one of the immediate benefits of the programme has been the level of collaboration it has promoted between participating growers. By McAlister's admission, no single Australian exporter has the capacity to deal with a large retailer on their own. By working together, the goal is to drive value growth for the category.

“What they (retailers) demand is consistency of product and the continuous supply of product,” McAlister said. “You can’t come in for one week, send a couple of containers, then be out of the market for three weeks.

“Under this programme, every grower will retain their identity, but if we can get a benchmark standard and consistency it will give the Chinese consumers and retailers the confidence that we can deliver again and again.”

Over 120 Australian stonefruit growers registered to send fruit to China ahead of the 2018/19 season, up from 76 on the year prior, indicating the willingness among the industry to grow this market. With this in mind, provisions have already been made to expand the retail programme.

“It’s been clearly explained to SEDA members that this is a pilot programme to demonstrate to the Chinese retailers that this can work,” Moore explained. “Eventually, as demand grows, we’ll need to source more and more fruit, so other growers will be encouraged to come onboard, providing they can meet the benchmark quality.”

Read more about the SEDA retail programme in the December 2018/January 2019 edition of Asiafruit Magazine, out now.

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

T&G Global: Orchard Rd to export first Aussie Tulare Giant sugar plums to China

T&G Global is gearing up for harvests of Australian Tulare Giant sugar plums with plans to ship the fruit to Asian markets under its Orchard Rd brand.

The company’s general manager of Australia (exports) Paul Scheffer says the fruit will start to be picked in small volumes next week with most growers expecting to start picking between Christmas and New Year.

“Size is looking larger than usual with our expectation of increased production of Tulare Giant that will be in good supply until mid-February,” Scheffer says.

“Export markets will include Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and mainland China. Retailers will be ranging under the Orchard Rd brand with promotional activity being scheduled for the lead-up into Lunar New Year.”

The option to export to mainland China has been made possible by the country’s decision in November 2017 to expand its market opening for Australian stonefruit to also include plums, peaches and apricots in a protocol that already included nectarines.

“We’ve got growers registered to meet the protocol for that direct access to China; that protocol will play a big part of what we do with Tulare,” says Scheffer, adding the fruit will be assisted into the market by T&G’s own Shanghai office.

“Initially the demand was purely taken up in Asia, but in the last two seasons we’ve released the product domestically here in Australia and that’s really given us a good balance for our growers.

“We’re doing a lot of targeted marketing around Chinese New Year as well – it’s been really successful.”

T&G has commercialization rights in Australia for the variety, which was bred by the University of California Davis.

“We are fortunate the have growers who are committed to delivering a great quality product with excellent eating characteristics,” says Scheffer.

He adds Tulare Giants are the earliest plums to hit the shelves in Australia, and the product should fit nicely into export markets as well as a counter-seasonal option to supplies from California.

Released as a cross-category brand less than a year ago with the goal of broader consumer recognition in Australia, Orchard Rd has expanded internationally.

Scheffer says the company has already been exporting USA berries and cherries into Asia under the label, as well as New Zealand berries and grapes for Japan.

“Our berry fruit and our sugar plums will probably be our two big Orchard Rd drivers for the summer,” he says.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

First Australian avocados land in Japan

Australia’s first-ever avocado exports to Japan have recently arrived in the Asian country, receiving a ceremonious launch at the Australian embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Government officials from both sides were in attendance, along with Japanese importers and retailers as well as industry representatives from Hort Innovation and Avocados Australia.

A new protocol signed in May allows the export of Australian Hass avocados grown in Queensland fruit fly-free areas to Japan.

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said the new trade agreement was “very exciting news for the Australian avocado industry”, and acknowledged the cumulative hard work by all agencies involved in making the trade agreement possible.

“It is very exciting for the industry that we can now add Japan to our exclusive list of export destinations for our top-quality premium Hass avocados,” he said.

“The industry in Australia is growing rapidly and we are very confident that Australia will be producing about 115,000 tonnes of avocados per year by 2025. This is 50 per cent more than our current production, and expanding our domestic and international markets is essential.”

Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said Australia has built a solid reputation for its premium quality fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Table grapes and citrus fruits are already established export products in the Japanese market and their market success has demonstrated a willingness by consumers to pay a premium price for high-quality produce,” he said.

“Japan is wholly dependent on avocado imports for their national supply. Until now, their avocados were predominantly sourced from Mexico and to a lesser extent, Peru, the US and New Zealand.”

He added that introducing Australian avocados into the marketplace offers Japanese consumers “a point of difference to their current supply” and will strengthen trade ties with local exporters.

“We are confident that this new market access opportunity will enhance trade relations with Japan, and in time, open up market access for other premium fresh fruit and vegetable items,” he said.

 

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

'California table grape shipments ‘to continue through January’

The California Table Grape Commission says that shipments are expected to continue “through the end of January” in what has been a record-breaking season.

Gowers shipped more than 27.7 million boxes into the worldwide marketplace from Oct. 13 to Nov. 30, the highest amount ever for the time period, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The previous seven-week shipment record during the same time period was set in 2013.

Earlier this season, the five-week shipping record for the time period between Sept. 8 through Oct. 12 was broken.

The three-month period of Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 set another record with over 55 million boxes of grapes shipped – an all-time high, beating the previous record set in 2013 for this time period.

Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission, said that aggressive fall and winter promotion programs are continuing.

The later end to the California table grape deal means there will likely be significant overlap with Peruvian and Chilean supplies. The Peruvian season began a few weeks ago, while the first Chilean harvests took place at the end of November.

The heavy California supplies also caused some of the lowest prices seen in years over the fall period, according to USDA data. The average values over much of November down by around a quarter on the three-year average.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

Australia’s fresh orange production forecast at 500,000 tons

USDA GAIN report:
Australia’s fresh orange production is forecast at 500,000 metric tons (MT) in 2018/19, down 3 percent on the estimate for the previous year. Australia is a counter-seasonal exporter of mainly navel oranges to north-Asian markets such as China and Japan while the United States exports navel oranges during Australia’s off-season.

Post forecasts orange exports at 215,000 MT, down 6.5 percent on the estimate for the previous year because of lower production. Orange juice production, mainly from Valencia oranges, is forecast to decline by 7 percent in 2018/19 while total imports of orange juice and orange juice concentrate are forecast to be stable.

Citrus production is a major horticultural sector in Australia and a leading export product. Orange producers dominate the citrus industry and are located along the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers in the Riverina, Sunraysia, and Riverland irrigation areas of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, and South Australia. These regions produce both eating (navel) and juicing (Valencia) oranges. The Central Burnett region in Queensland produces mandarins, lemons, and limes. There are also smaller citrus plantings in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

While export demand for navel oranges has increased, producers have faced higher costs for irrigation water. In November 2018, the total amount of water stored in the Murray Darling Basin’s dams dropped below 50 percent compared to over 70 percent at the same time last year. For most citrus producing regions, such as the Riverina, producers have faced drier than average conditions and higher temperatures, with a similar outlook forecast for the period to January 2019. A number of frosts have occurred throughout all of the orange growing regions throughout the winter period. However, the effects of the frosts were minimal and caused only slight fruit damage in scattered areas.

Post forecasts Australian domestic orange consumption in 2018/19 to be stable at 245,000 MT, the same as in the previous year. Navels oranges are generally large and seedless and mature earlier than other oranges. Domestic sales are usually made directly to large supermarket chains or through central fruit markets. Citrus consumption usually increases from June to August each year.

Click here for the full report.


Publication date : 12/10/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australian avocado production grows

In the past decade production of avocados has nearly doubled, projected to 115,000 tonnes by 2025
At 77,000 tonnes in 2017/18 the Australian avocado industry is on a long term upward trajectory.

“One-third of Australia’s avocado trees have yet to reach their prime production years but enough of the new plantings have come on line this year to boost the industry above last year’s 66,000 tonnes,” said Avocados Australia CEO, John Tyas.

Tyas says by 2025 the industry is on track to produce around 115,000 tonnes annually.

“Our production in 2017/18 was 17 per cent more than the previous year, with a gross value of production estimated at A$557 million.”

Domestic consumption has held steady for a second year in a row at 3.5kg per person, per year, but Tyas is confident there is more room for growth.

Most of the Australian supply is grown in Queensland, who host 62 per cent of plantings, second to Western Australia at 25 per cent, followed by New South Wales, Victoria and Australia.

“In 2017/18 Hass represented 78 per cent of production. Shepard, a green-skin variety grown in Queensland through late Summer and Autumn, made up 19 per cent of production, and at that time of year, is the dominant Australian variety on the market.”

To help balance supply and demand in future, Avocados Australia is working with Hort Innovation to expand both domestic and international markets. “At the moment we export less than five per cent of our production annually, but that will increase as our production increases,” Tyas said.

Currently Malaysia and Singapore are the main export markets for Australian avocados.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com Author: Camellia Aebischer

Aussie stonefruit season “progressing beautifully”, says Cutri Fruit

Australia’s leading grower-packer of stonefruit has noted “excellent” growing conditions this year with exports already underway since last month along with a new partnership.

Cutri Fruit CEO Gaethan Cutri told Fresh Fruit Portal the season had been running “solidly”, while he was upbeat about a joint venture for exports with LaManna Premier Group (LPG) to form LPG Cutri Fruit Global Exports.

“Having the right people enables businesses to grow and become better at what they do – we believe our joint venture has that and will bring this to both our businesses,” Cutri said.

“LPG are exporting in other categories which we see to be a great bolt-on to what we do and now gives both businesses a 12-month offer between fruits and vegetables to customers worldwide.”

He said Cutri Fruit’s farms, which in stonefruit are split between nectarines (45%), peaches (45%) and plums (10%), witnessed great chill hours throughout the winter and were “relatively unscathed by the frosts”.

“Each year we progress down the farming journey we get better at being able to mitigate any potential challenges that arise, so each year seems to feel more manageable than the last,” Gaethan Cutri said.

“The start of the season is usually really challenging in terms of training new staff – some don’t even know what a nectarine is – but we are lucky that we have a lot of returning staff this season who are already familiar with our business, our systems and our products.

“We appear to be three to seven days ahead of last year, however last season was abnormally late.”

He added early season fruit volumes were down on last year, so the group believed sales on the domestic market would likely be strong throughout the remainder of the season, which so far had been “progressing beautifully”.

Cutri mentioned that as a large portion of the company’s plantings were export-focused, they were predominantly made up of white-fleshed varieties in nectarines and peaches. But yellow-fleshed fruit was still on offer.

“There are markets around the world who also just prefer yellow fleshed fruit, so we will export both this season,” he said.

“As we are Australia’s largest grower and packer of stone fruit, we need to export all the fruits that we have, in order to move the sheer volume of fruit. Plus, we don’t want to be pigeon-holed as being only a white-flesh producer.”

The executive also commended industry body Summerfruit Australia for setting the standards of where quality needed to be, following a challenging initial campaign in China a couple of years ago.

“Australia has always been sought after for its clean and green nature, fruit taste and healthful eating experience,” he said.

“We have been exporting to the Asian markets for over 30 years now, so we already know what the needs of the customers are, but it’s been a re-learning experience complying with the specific China protocols, which is something that we cherish greatly so we need to see that it’s done correctly.

“We have had to make some changes in training staff to the expectation and a few changes to how we operate in the orchard, but that’s all just a part of what we need to do. In keeping up with the practices we have implemented we hope to have a fantastic export season into China.”

He clarifies the group will be sending fruit “all over Asia and pretty much every market we have access to”.

“We are always looking to explore new opportunities – having multiple markets means we are never reliant on just one market,” Cutri said.

Cutri Fruit is also starting to see the fruits of its labor in trialing new cultivars, but it is still early days.

“All I can say is that we have some exclusive varieties of super-sweet plums already in the ground, with small volumes available for sampling this season,” he said.

“Their health benefits will rival the likes of the Queen Garnet plums, as well as blueberries and pomegranates. They will be the future of stonefruit.

“We have also delved into avocados, planting up an initial block of 40 hectares which are growing beautifully. They haven’t been in the ground for even two years, and this year we received a small sample of fruit, which were amazingly delicious and had excellent shelf life.”

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

New South Wales cherry growers turning to Chinese buyers

Cherry Growers Association Australia president Tom Eastlake is preparing for what could be a game-changing season. Eastlake is one of the many cherry growers around Young (New South Wales) gearing up to export their produce to China for the first time, thanks to relaxed new trade laws.

The climate around Young makes it prime territory for cherries and the NSW Department of Primary Industry said the Young region has seen some of the highest numbers of farmers registering to export to China in the state.

Growers have previously been restricted to sea-freighting their cherries to mainland China market because of Queensland fruit fly contamination fears. Now a new free-trade agreement between Australia and China has allowed growers to airfreight their produce after treating it for fruit fly.

Before the agreement, only growers in Tasmania could airfreight to mainland China, thanks to the island state being fruit fly free, while mainland Australian growers could export to Hong Kong.

But Eastlake said Chile was Australia's biggest competitor for the Chinese market. The South American nation could produce 200,000 tonnes of cherries this season, Mr Eastlake said, while Australian growers are hopeful for a record season this year of 18,000 tonnes.

"But it can be six weeks before the consumers are eating it [Chilean cherries]," Mr Eastlake said, with the majority of Chilean cherries moved by sea freight. Now, theoretically, Young cherries could find themselves on mainland Chinese shelves three days after being picked.

"You just can't beat something that's 72 hours from the tree. You just can't do it. The flavour's better. The appearance is better," he said. "Nowhere in the world can get things to South-East Asia as quickly as we can."

He said growers in Australia needed to get at least $8 a kilogram for cherries just to remain in the industry. "There's no money in it at $7 or $8. We're not making money hand over fist. We're not out there buying Rolls Royces."

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

Australian table grapes - forecast almost 18% above last year’s estimate

USDA GAIN report


Australia’s production of table grapes in 2018/19 is expected to be higher due to more favourable seasonal conditions, higher yields and a larger harvest area. This forecast is almost 18 percent above last year’s estimate, which was revised down due to poor weather, reduced yields, and a late season. Australian table grape producers are increasingly focusing on the growing export market as a result of strong international demand, especially from China.

Exports comprise almost 70 percent of production in recent years and are likely to grow further with the impending removal of Chinese tariffs on table grapes under the China-Australia FTA. Table grape imports, mainly from the United States, are likely to remain the same as 2018/19, primarily due to the strengthening U.S. dollar.

Production
Table grape production is forecast at 200,000 MT in 2018/19, up almost 18 percent on the previous year due to favorable seasonal conditions and higher yields. The harvested area is forecast to expand to 12,000 hectares in 2018/19, up 9 percent in anticipation of higher yields and an expanded harvest area.

Production in the previous year featured poor yields in a number of areas due to hotter temperatures. Most grape producers in Australia are small and medium-sized family businesses, with a few large growers. Sunraysia is Australia’s largest table grape growing region, producing an estimated 80 percent of total production. Early season regions include the Northern Territory and Queensland with 70 percent of late season production from the Sunraysia region of Victoria, based at Mildura and Robinvale.

Australian exports of table grapes, 2012-2017 (in 1,000 tons)

Click here for the full report.


Publication date : 11/23/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com