AHEIA - Providing leadership to support and strengthen Australia's trade in horticultural produce.

AHEIA news

Australian horticulture exports to China expected to take a hit

Australian fruit exports to China are predicted to take a hit as fears of coronavirus’ spread reduce flights and stymie Chinese trade.

AUSTRALIAN horticulture exporters are bracing for a hit to trade as fears of novel coronavirus’ spread slow orders from Chinese importers as cities there close down and shoppers stay home.

The fallout from the rapidly spreading virus is predicted to hit exporters who sell to Australia’s biggest trading partner in coming weeks.

Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Andrea Magiafoglou said many exporters were already looking for alternative markets to sell their produce. “We have some exporters who have a lack of orders (from China) coming through, and airfreight flights have been reduced,” she said.

“One of our main concerns is the logistics of moving products around once they do arrive in China.”

Qantas will suspend direct flights to mainland China from February 9, while the Department of Foreign Affairs has revised its travel advice for China to “do not travel” as cases of the deadly virus climb.

Last week the Department of Health warned Australians to avoid contact with wild or farm animals to help prevent the spread of the virus. If has since retracted the advice, with a spokesperson telling The Weekly Times there was currently no evidence that livestock or companion animals such as dogs and cats could be infected.

“However it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with animals,” the spokesperson said.

Coronavirus is believed to have started in a food market that sells meat, poultry and fish as well as Chinese delicacies such as live reptiles and wild game, in Wuhan, in early December.

Scientists have suggested the most likely initial host of the infectious disease was bats, and potentially mirroring the spread of SARS — the disease it is so closely resembles — from bats to Asian palm civets, a wild animal bred in China for consumption.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture has continued to allay fears. “While this virus seems to have emerged from an unknown animal source in China, it is now spreading from person-to-person, and contact with people is the main route of infection,” a spokesperson said.

 Source: ALEXANDRA LASKIE, The Weekly Times - February 4, 2020

 

Hort Connection 2020

AWARD NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

The 2020 National Awards for Excellence will be presented at the Hort Connections 2020 Gala Dinner. The Awards for Excellence are a fantastic way to acknowledge and recognise the outstanding contributions of individuals and companies to the industry.

Nominations may be made on the website https://hortconnections.com.au/award-nominations/ 

Growers and exporters fight proposed new charges

Prices of some exporting fees for fruit, vegetable, nut and flower could almost triple under a proposed government scheme.

A FEDERAL Government plan to raise export costs for fruit, vegetables, nuts and flowers is now more than two years behind schedule, with the latest iteration attracting industry backlash over a near tripling of some prices and the inclusion of new charges.
Mounting pressure from horticulture bodies has led the Department of Agriculture to extend its deadline for public consultation on a new horticulture export scheme to early January. The first draft was released in 2015.
The extension will allow the group — tipped to include at least eight of the nation’s biggest horticultural associations — to craft a joint submission calling for a complete reworking of the Government’s export cost-recovery arrangements.
The proposed model would see the exporter levy increase 275 per cent, the cost of a phytosanitary certificate jump from $36 to $115 and registration fees to rise 47 per cent.
New costs announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget would cover scientific and technical advice, support for detained consignments and enforcement activities, adding $1.53 million to the scheme’s cost base.
Australian Horticultural Exporters’ Association chief executive Andréa Magiafoglou said the changes could “critically impact” exporters’ competitiveness.
AusVeg spokesman Tyson Cattle said the peak body for vegetable and potato growers wanted greater transparency.
“We’re not against cost recovery, but we want to make sure it’s fair and equitable,” Mr Cattle said.
“Our view is, given that horticulture is in its infancy in terms of exports, there needs to be some time for the industry to fully mature, so we don’t want any impediments to growth.”
The Government is eager for the proposed model to get ministerial approval so the new fees can be introduced on July 1 next year.
The current scheme is racking up losses of more than $6.3 million.
A Department of Agriculture spokesman said the Government had engaged widely.
“We are seeking to recover the expense of functions that are already being delivered to or on behalf of industry,” he said. “The price increases will ensure the department is sustainably recovering the full cost of the regulation activity.”

 

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

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