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AHEIA news

Exports rise in value, volume

The 2018/19 trade figures are now in and the results speak for themselves. Fresh horticulture exports have exceeded expectations yet again, with the sixth record-breaking year in a row. Fresh fruit and vegetable exports surpassed $1.6 billion, representing a 20% increase in value and 8% improvement in volume from the previous year.

Table grapes have been the standout commodity, with over half a billion dollars of fruit exported and achieving the title of the first fruit commodity to reach this mark. Vegetable exports rose a solid 10%, with onions regaining ground and achieving export volumes not seen for several years. More recently, an excellent season is currently being reported for Queensland mandarins with high quality fruit and strong prices. We expect this will bolster trade export volumes over the coming year for this commodity.

China has maintained its position as the number one trading partner for fresh Australian fruit by both volume and value. Table grapes significantly contributed to this result, however improved pathways for both summerfruit and cherries have helped solidify this trade destination. For fresh vegetable exports, Singapore took out the top position for value, while carrot exports to United Arab Emirates pushed this market to the number one position for volume.

Half a year has now passed since enhanced air cargo security measures were implemented. Reports coming in from industry members and participants of the Air Cargo Security Advisory Forum (ACSIAF) held earlier this year indicate the transition was smoother than expected with no major impediments with the exception of higher operational costs.

Around the Brisbane ports, some stevedore and shipping line problems associated with capacity issues have been experienced, however these are hoped to be addressed prior to next year.

Moving forward, the AHEIA is preparing to host industry information-exchange meetings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne markets for members, exporters and importers alike. More information will be provided on this on due course. We hope to see and hear your views on issues affecting your businesses.

Author: Andréa Magiafoglou (CEO Australia Horticultural Exporters' and Importers' Association)

Source: Brisbane Markets Fresh Source Magazine

Australian exporters denounce fees

Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association criticises a decision to up export certification fees


The Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) has joined other industry bodies in condemning a proposal increasing fees and charges for export certification activities.

According to AHEIA, Australia’s Federal Department of Agriculture is proposing increases as much as 277 per cent for some certification activities.

The association says the changes would restrict the government’s commitment to enable Australian agriculture to become a A$100bn (US$68bn) sector by 2030.

Andréa Magiafoglou, chief executive of AHEIA, said the proposals reduce the competitiveness of the Australian horticultural industry.

“The Department of Agriculture has a responsibility to develop and implement programmes that support a more profitable, more resilient and a more sustainable agricultural sector that will in turn, help drive a stronger Australian economy,” Magiafoglou said.

“These proposed increases will have a vastly detrimental effect on horticultural exports, reducing the ability to compete globally and the impact will be felt all the way back to the farm gate.”

Citrus Australia is another industry body opposed to the changes, it said these fees will cost the average grower tens of thousands of dollars before they have even exported a single carton.

Joseph Saina, chairman of AHEIA, said the association recognised the Department of Agriculture had costs cost to meet, but there was no indication of how the money would be used.

“Across the board and based on the volumes and proposed fee hikes proposed by the department, this represents a phenomenal A$3.8m (US$2.6m) revenue increase for the department,” Saina said.

“This is without clear indication of where the money will be spent, nor providing any assurance for an improvement in service standards which have impeded export growth to date.”

AHEIA is preparing a detailed response to government and encouraged its members to provide input before the consultation period closes on 10 December.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/produceplus Author: Liam O’Callaghan

Australian importers and exporters gather

Over 50 stakeholders discuss key issues at annual AHEIA forum in Melbourne

Some of the leading decision-makers involved in Australia’s international fresh produce trade gathered in Melbourne yesterday for the Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) Industry Forum.

A wide-ranging programme covered some of the key issues facing the sector, including biosecurity, regulatory processes and improved market access.

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Australian minister for agriculture, delivered the opening address via video link. The morning session continued with presentations from David Ironside, Deb Langford, Mick Mihalenko and Malcolm Keen from the Australian Department of Agriculture.

Following a break for lunch, the afternoon session began with an examination of trends in global fresh produce trade through a presentation from Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting. Prowse told the audience that 83m tonnes of fresh produce was traded across the globe in 2018, with Australia exporting some 499,521 tonnes of fresh fruit and 232,991 tonnes of fresh vegetables.

Prowse said over 60 per cent of Australian exports were shipped directly to protocol markets in 2018. China led the way in terms of market share, with 34 per cent of Australian fresh produce exports destined for the People’s Republic.

The acceptance of irradiation as an approved phytosanitary treatment under several new and renegotiated protocols is being viewed as a key driver for Australia’s export growth, particularly in Asia. Ben Reilly of Steritech, a company that has pioneered irradiation treatment in Australia, told the audience that his company has seen a substantial lift in the volume of fruit it handles across all categories over the past 12 months.

The demand has been so great that Steritech has now developed a second treatment centre on the outskirts of Melbourne. The new facility will provide better access to irradiation treatment for crops predominantly produced in south-east Australia, such as cherries and table grapes, while its proximity to Melbourne Airport (25km away) ensures a short transit time for airfreight.

The forum rounded out with a presentation from AHEIA chief executive Andréa Magiafoglou, who outlined the association’s key objectives for the year ahead. Magiafoglou said the forum remained an important date on the calendar for AHEIA members.

“The AHEIA AGM and Industry Forum are designed to connect members, update industry on the state of the global market and hear directly from Australian Government representatives involved in horticulture trade,” Magiafoglou explained. “This year attracted over 50 stakeholders, and speakers covered a variety of topics spanning global trade data, and regulatory processes in horticulture trade.”

 

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

Author: Matthew Jones

Grapes and nuts lead Aussie horticulture export charge

AUSTRALIAN horticulture exports have nearly cracked the $2.8 billion mark, setting a new record for the industry.

Global Trade Atlas figures have shown a 27 per cent increase on the 2017-2018 financial year, with nuts and table grapes leading the charge.

Table grape exports boasted a 45pc increase on the previous year, surpassing the half a billion-dollar mark reaching $555 million

Australian nut exports reached $1 billion in export value.

The trade value for almonds alone reached $675 million, making it the most valuable export crop with a year on year growth of 53pc.

Fresh vegetable exports also grew 18pc over the last financial year and are now valued at $321 million.

Hort Innovation head of trade, Dianne Phan, said the figures showed the commitment of homegrown producers to globalise their high-quality produce, as well as investments from industry, government and Australian growers.

"We have worked incredibly hard together with industry, the Australian Government, our growers and our international trade partners to build demand for our premium produce in an increasingly competitive international market," Ms Phan said.

"As a result of in-market initiatives under the Taste Australia brand, consumer research projects, trade events and in-store retail campaigns, Australian horticultural produce has never been more popular - particularly in Asian markets, Europe, and the Middle-East where consumers enjoy high-quality products."

"Our work with industry partners, coupled with the Australian reputation for delivering high-quality produce that complies with rigorous standards along every stage of the supply chain has been a key driving force in this achievement."

Australian Horticultural Exporters' and Importers' Association chief executive officer, Andréa Magiafoglou, said indications were that exports have exceeded expectations yet again, with the strong potential for horticulture export volumes and values to achieve record breaking results.

She said it was magnificent to see such outcomes for both nuts and table grapes as well as other crops.

"Let's not discount the achievements for onion exports in regaining ground, plus some, to achieve volumes not seen in several years," Ms Magiafoglou said.

"It is a commendable outcome demonstrating the tenacity of industry in what can be a volatile and challenging export environment."

"A collaborative approach with grower groups, industry stakeholders and the Department of Agriculture is paying off with positive outcomes underpinned by a favourable Australian dollar."

But growers looking to make inroads to foreign markets need to consider market diversification, targeted strategies and the delivery of high quality Australian produce.

These points will be key in a future export environment influenced by non-tariff measures impacting trade, political uncertainty and a highly competitive international market, according to the AHEIA.

Ms Phan said international interest in Australian produce was set to dominate discussion once again at this week's Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) in Hong Kong that will feature around 70 Australian producers showcasing their fresh produce.

She said this year's trade show will also feature representation from the Australian melon and banana industries for the first time.

"Recent trade data shows that exports to Australia's largest horticultural trading partner, China, has almost doubled over the past financial year from $424 million to $834 million," she said.

"We have built a strong reputation across Asia as a premium horticultural producer, which we hope to further leverage through consistent trade show presence and oversees engagement.

"Under the Taste Australia trade initiative, we are taking a piece of Australia into homes across the world. AFL is the flagship event, but over the next 12 months we will lead the charge with 300 growers in tow to showcase locally grown premium produce to international markets in mainland China, Tokyo and Dubai."

 

Source: https://www.goodfruitandvegetables.com.au

Author: Ashley Walmsley

New chief for export import association - AHEIA

There is a changing of the guard at the Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) this month, with Dr Andréa Magiafoglou taking over from retiring CEO Dominic Jenkin.


According to AHEIA Chairman, Joseph Saina, Ms Magiafoglou brings to the role comprehensive experience within horticultural market access, trade development, market readiness and export compliance.


“The appointment of Dr Andréa Magiafoglou will further enhance and enrich the solid representational foundation built and refined by Dominic Jenkin,” Mr Saina said. “Andréa has been involved at the grass roots level of horticultural production environments and has a proven ability to engage with the diverse range of stakeholders along the value chain.


“Over the last three years the AHEIA has continued to support and promote a highly proactive level of engagement across the broadening spectrum of dynamic and complex horticultural trade issues.

 

Source: Fresh Source - https://brisbanemarkets.com.au/wp-content/uploads/docs/FS67_WINTER19.pdf

 

AHEIA pleased that government focus has turned to horticulture exports

The Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association has welcomed the Federal Coalition Government's multi-million-dollar commitment to growing horticulture exports, provided in this month's budget.

A total of $29.4 million worth of measures were announced, to target agricultural sectors with high export growth potential. Exact details are still vague, given the Federal Government went into caretaker mode soon after the budget was released, due to the pending election on May 18. The AHEIA says this is the first time it can remember focus being placed on horticulture exports.

"It's great to see horticulture is taking the spotlight on the agriculture trade agenda because it is an incredibly positive story for the Australian economy," CEO Dominic Jenkin said. "It hasn't attracted as much attention (in the past) so it was great to see that as the centrepiece of agriculture trade announcements. Furthermore, the focus on gaining additional market access and improving the conditions for trade into our major markets. However, there is precious little detail in the statement, so time will tell where the investments go, and the quality of those investments."

One of the major commitments was to provide $11.4 million over four years to break through the technical and scientific trade barriers so Australian fruit and vegetables can get market access into more countries. The AHEIA welcomes any way to streamline that process.

“Horticultural trade is often limited by sanitary and phytosanitary measures,” Mr Jenkin said. “This can occur as either delays in the assessment and establishment of appropriate measures, or the imposition of impractical measures. Investment in improving horticultural market access and trade should promote greater transparency and understanding in the application of phytosanitary measures. This would include timely approval of market access applications and to promptly and transparently conduct risk assessments when required. Attention should be paid to improving the technical dialogue with our trading partners to ensure the most practicable solutions are selected and implemented."

He added that the problem with that is that is that while the process is intended to be purely scientific, it can often become political, in terms of "the way that it is drafted, the timeliness, and whom they engage to draft it".

"Market access is an inherently political process, and trade in every sense is reciprocal," he said. "We will need to have a hard look at access and conditions that we impose upon exporters to our market, and our operational practices to support that trade. So, I think it is relational, so I think we need to be spending money to improve the relationship with our most important trading partners. We have been challenged by our broader government perspectives, in terms of our relationships with our more important trading partners. It's important that we move to improve those, and show real value to our trading partners, show we care about what they are interested in and compromise to find mutual benefits, rather than engage in confrontational approaches."

Mr Jenkin would also like to see a greater focus on improving relationships with trading partners, which can sometimes involve delicate political negotiations.

"Relationships are rarely maintained through the pragmatic argument of facts, but rather deep understanding," he said. "If we know only our own needs and we ignore the needs of our trading partners we cannot expect relationships to prosper. We must look deeply in order to identify and understand the needs, aspirations and adversities they encounter. This is the groundwork required for relationships to prosper."

The Federal Government stated that only 18 per cent of horticulture production was exported, meaning that there is huge potential for growth. The industry is currently taking a diverse approach, supplying to around 30 countries. However, one of the most important areas for growth in recent years has of course been China.

The AHEIA says one of the eventual key winners of this investment will be regional communities.

"At the end of the day, it is all flowing back to the farms and our regional communities," Mr Jenkin said. "In horticulture, up to 50 per cent of the cost of production is the labour component. Whilst it is a huge problem in terms of accessing this labour, it is also a positive for the communities that support those populations. It is extremely positive to see the investment in this area, and we would certainly welcome engagement with any government around the world in improving horticulture trade. Trade also means importing products as well, and we see maintaining that balance is vital in maintaining our status in our most important markets."

For more information
Dominic Jenkin
Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association
Phone: +61 423 394 476
admin@horticulturetrade.com.au  
www.horticulturetrade.com.au 


Publication date: 4/17/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Australian fresh produce industry gearing up for export security changes

The Australian fresh produce sector is preparing for changes to air cargo export regulations, which will be introduced next week.

From 1 March 2019 all international export air cargo from Australia must be examined at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA), or originate from a Known Consignor, and use technology like x-ray, or be physically inspected.

The Department of Home Affairs says the changes are necessary to strengthen security.

"The Australian Government’s first priority is to keep Australians safe and secure," a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said. "Aviation is an enduring and attractive target for terrorists. The Department has a strong and comprehensive aviation security framework that is continually revised to ensure that we remain ahead of the evolving threat."

The Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) has previously warned the move will have costly implications on Australian fresh produce industries, and has estimated total added costs to the industry could be up to A$0.22/kg, as well as up to a 24-hour delay at terminals.

The Department of Home Affairs says it has given the industry plenty of notice and that it has pro-actively engaged with industry to foster readiness for including writing directly to exporters.

"Security examination of export air cargo is not new," the spokes-person said. "All export air cargo is already examined prior to uplift onto an aircraft. The requirements being introduced on 1 March 2019 have been in place for United States bound cargo since July 2017. If businesses have questions about how the change will impact their current arrangements, they should contact their supply chain in the first instance."

The Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) are one of many industry groups that have advised their members to prepare themselves for the change, also advising that Currently, 30 per cent of Australian Cherries are exported to more than 30 countries in a highly competitive international market. It adds, that exporting cherries is a specialised market requiring attention and detail to cultural sensitivities, biosecurity, packaging, market access and entry and transportation. The type and variety of cherry exported is determined by market access and cultural tendencies accounting for preferences in taste, colour and flavour.

Exporters who have not already done so, should consider things like: packaging of products, handling of consolidated cargo, scheduling of deliveries, and how cargo is transported to reduce possible changes to delivery times and increased costs, therefore reducing delays. Businesses should also Consider becoming a 'Known Consignor'.

Further information about the change can be found on the Department’s webpage, www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/our-portfolios/transport-security/air-cargo-and-aviation/air-cargo


Publication date : 2/22/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Delay concerns over piece-level inspection

Produce industry concerned about wait times when security screening is implemented in Australia for all exports
Fresh produce will undergo compulsory security screening via x-ray or metal detector from 1 March if it arrives at airports without prior security clearance.

In the short term, scheduling is a concern for the industry whose perishable air cargo could suffer from time delays. It’s not just fruit and vegetables that will need to meet the requirement, but all Australian exported air cargo regardless of article or destination.

Growers and traders can choose to either register as a ‘Known Consignor’, meaning they must meet certain security protocols to bypass airport screening at the take-off point or have goods screened by a Registered Air Cargo Agent (RACA).

However, both Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the Australian Horticulture Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) and a representative from a global airline told Fruitnet that around two weeks out from the implementation date there are only a handful of RACAs on the list.

The aforementioned airline representative said the 1 March implementation date will be interesting to watch as it falls on a Friday which is a typical peak period for the week.

“The most concerning impact in the short run is excessive wait times at the terminal operators, leading to shipments missing their planned flights as the shipments which are not from RACA or known consignors will [need to] be pre-screened,” he said.

“Our terminal operator has published an additional 3 hours in lodge-in times but a lot of us are anticipating a longer lead time would be required.”

Jenkin predicted a 24-hour delay at terminals, while Australian aircraft service group, Menzies Aviation cite an additional six-hour allowance for the new screening process.

 

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer