Vietnam: Dragon fruit to be exported to Australia, Japan

In the near future Vietnam expects to export dragon fruit to both Australia and Japan. Recently, experts from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have been on fact-finding tours of Vietnamese provinces to evaluate their dragon fruit production, packaging and exports. According to experts, once a product is allowed to enter the Australian market, doors would open for it in other markets too.

The visit was one of the final steps before Australia opened its market to fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam, according to the Plant Protection Department.
 
The Australian Government would release a draft report on the evaluation outcomes at the end of this year for stakeholders’ benefit, and possibly allow the import of Vietnamese white and red dragon fruits by the end of this year or early next year, it said.
 
It has also worked with Japanese authorities and Vietnamese fresh dragon fruits could be exported to that country in the near future, it said.
 
Fruit exports to several demanding markets had increases in 2016, it said, with exporters shipping more than 4,608 tonnes to the US, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 81 per cent.
 
Australia market
 
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, Australia imports fruits and vegetables worth US$1.7-2 billion from other countries.
 
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, total exports to Australia were worth over $1.3 billion this year, with fruits and vegetables accounting for a mere $10.3 million.
 
Explaining why the exports of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to Australia remain modest, experts pointed to the stringent quarantine system there.
 
Read more at vietnamnews.vn.

Publication date: 7/22/2016

 

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

Stink bug threatens Italian fruit

Country's entire pear crop said to be in danger following unprecedented outbreak, with apples and kiwifruit also at risk

ruit crops including pears, apples and kiwifruit in some of Italy's major producing regions are reportedly under grave threat following an unusually widespread outbreak of brown marmorated stink bug.

The insect, which is native to several Asian countries and has recently established itself as a pest in part of Europe, North America and South America, is said to be worryingly prevalent this year across much of northern Italy, including Piedmont Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Trentino-South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

According to reports, the outbreak is so serious that some believe it threatens to wipe out Italy's entire pear crop, with estimated potential damage to that sector alone ranging from €250m to in excess of €400m.

Giorgio Mercuri, president of national cooperatives alliance ACI's agricultural division, called on the government to set up an emergency committee of ministerial and regional representatives to tackle the problem, which he said had been further aggravated by an unseasonable climate.

"This dramatic crisis, whose financial impact on businesses is remarkable, is now also expanding to other products – vegetables, soy and wheat – and regions such as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont, and is predicted that the damage will further increase," he said.

Agricultural body Confagricoltura's Emilia Romagna office released a statement confirming the bug had been detected in Italy's so-called golden quadrilateral, an area linking Ferrara, Modena, Bologna and Ravenna that is responsible for producing almost three-quarters of the country's pear crop.

The group's regional president Albano Bergami, who also produces pears near Ferrara, underscored the severity of the episode. "The reality is beyond our imagination and even more negative than any ominous initial forecast," he commented.

"Serious damage caused by the Asian bug is also being found on all varieties of pears, including Santa Maria in full harvest and even in the areas where the killer insect in the past had never appeared, so much so that now its presence can be considered endemic."

Uphill struggle

Even where crops are protected, for example with netting, the magnitude of the outbreak and the sheer number of bugs is apparently leading to damage that renders the remaining crops unprofitable.

"Some of our fellow producers have already left the pear plants to their fate because of [brown marmorated stink bug]," revealed Simone Spreafico, owner and director of Spreafico, one of Italy's largest fresh produce marketers, in conversation with Italiafruit.

A video recorded by Spreafico and posted on the Italiafruit website late last week showed a massive swarm of stink bugs apparently at a pear orchard in Veneto.

Another video, posted on Twitter by Professor Max Suckling, biosecurity science group leader at New Zealand's Plant and Food Research, showed the bugs crawling across a mower at an apple research orchard in Trentino, north-west Italy, managed by Fondazione Edmund Mach.

"The latest case was this week: a 40ha farm in Rovigo, which had just started harvesting the summer variety Santa Maria," Spreafico added. "After having seen the huge damage to the fruit, the owner decided to abandon all operations."

Even with covers, he said, volume losses would still be around 30-40 per cent. "Younger bugs, in fact, are so small that they can often slip into nets. We can do nothing to counter them. Unfortunately, this insect will take away even the little pears that we expected to harvest this year."

As far as Spreafico was concerned, it made no sense to produce if only two-thirds of the potential production ends up being viable. "It can be done for a year, two at most," he told Italiafruit. "The 2019 vintage is considered lost. Next year, we will be forced to cut down the trees.

"As producers we need immediate responses from government and research bodies, so we can overcome the bug problem in the shortest possible time."

Fruitnet understands that some producers in Italy are looking to adopt control measures similar to those employed in other parts of Europe and the US, where affected growers have been known to deploy an insect known as the Samurai wasp to bring stink bug infestations under control.

The wasps are known to deposit eggs in the bug's own eggs, which then die as the parasitic larvae grow.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Mike Knowles

Australian stonefruit rides high

Exports climb to record levels over 2018/19 season, with shipments to mainland China propelling the growth


It’s been a vintage season for Australian stonefruit exports, with volumes climbing to 22,861 tonnes between July 2018 and April 2019, according to data prepared by Fresh Intelligence Consulting.

The performance betters the previous record of 20,600 tonnes set in 2003 for the 10-month period, within which the bulk of Australia’s stonefruit harvest and exports take place.

The 2018/19 volume represents a 29 per cent increase on the 2017/18 campaign, while the overall value of trade (A$88.68m in 2018/19) rose 37 per cent year-on-year.

Mainland China continues to emerge as a focal point for the Australian industry, with exports to the Asian nation climbing 88 per cent year-on-year to 9,348 tonnes over the 2018/19 campaign. This translated to a market share of 40.9 per cent.

Singapore ranked second on the list of export destinations by volume, taking 2,530 tonnes, 5 per cent up on 2017/18.

Strong export growth was reported in Saudi Arabia (volumes up 42 per cent to 1,957 tonnes) and Indonesia (up 60 per cent to 993 tonnes).

Peaches and nectarines accounted for 69 per cent of the export shipments, while plums represented 29 per cent.

Peak industry body Summerfruit Australia (SAL) recently appointed Trevor Ranford as its new chief executive. Ranford replaces John Moore, who will continue to work with SAL on improving export market access for Australian growers.

Ranford has over 40 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including various executive roles with organisations in the pipfruit and cherry industries.

Click here to see graph

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

Author: Matthew Jones

 

Citrus Australia: Harsher penalties for people who threaten industry

Industry organisation Citrus Australia has stated it is extremely disappointed at the ‘slap on the wrist’ issued to an Australian resident who attempted to smuggle infected budwood into the country. The perpetrator was fined $7,000 for importing the prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers. The citrus plant cutting tested positive to two viruses that could cause diseases in citrus and also contained insects.

CEO Nathan Hancock has expressed his sincere thanks to the customs officer who found the cutting but said it was disappointing the judge did not take the opportunity to issue a severe penalty as a warning to others.

“A fine of $7,000 for importing a prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers is grossly inadequate when you consider the economic damage that could have occurred,” Hancock said. “The citrus industry, working with Government departments and other bodies, is currently working to eradicate the exotic disease citrus canker from the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Whilst confident we will achieve our goal, the cost to eradicate this could be in the tens of millions of dollars and has severely disrupted several growers’ lives in Kununurra and areas around Darwin.”

Hancock said deliberate acts like this put the livelihoods of thousands of Australians working in rural and regional Australia at risk, and could decimate the $800 million dollar citrus industry. Australians who now fail to declare plant or animal matter can receive fines up to $63,000 and up to five years in jail.

According to citrusaustralia.com.au, Hancock has asked judges in future cases to consider the impact imported pests and disease would have on the Australian horticulture industry and set an example through far tougher penalties in the future.

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest in full swing

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest is in full swing across both New Zealand and Australia with the company cautiously assessing the effect of the dry summer with both countries experiencing hot dry conditions. Rainfall in New Zealand was unseasonably low through the first quarter, and in Australia, Shepparton was in drought conditions with temperatures regularly above 40 degrees.

Generally, harvest 2019 began early attributed to dry late summer conditions. In New Zealand; the SunGold harvest is nearing completion with Seeka over 96% packed. Attention is now focusing on Hayward.

In the case of Hayward, Seeka has processed approximately 30% of its crop. Yields from early orchards were below estimate and the company is watching the next phase of the harvest to ascertain full year crop volume.

Seeka has significantly refurbished its Oakside site including a significant machine upgrade, and had constructed a new packhouse and packing machine at its newly acquired Kerikeri site. Both machines have commissioned well and hit their targeted volumes.

The company also purchased the business of Aongatete Coolstores Limited just prior to the season adding between 4m and 4.5m trays of supply to the group. The Aongatete purchase included experienced staff supported by loyal growers.

Safety through the early part of the season had been a particular focus for Seeka as part of its sustainability drive. The SunGold crop which is increasing in volume puts pressure on labour numbers for a short period. A labour shortage has been declared, and has resulted in some easing of the shortage, but some shifts remain difficult to fully resource. Adding to this pressure, the structure of the early season meant that post-harvest operators worked long hours to achieve premiums for their growers in achieving payment deadlines. Seeka has advocated changes to the structure to deliver a better safety profile.

Seeka has completed the harvest of its Red variety which was successfully picked, packed and exported to Australia. The spectacular fruit has a striking red central star burst on a golden background and with its sweet, berry flavour which has been well received by consumers.

The harvest of Seeka's green kiwifruit grown in Australia is also underway for the domestic and export markets. The team has worked well under dry conditions to produce a great quality crop.

Given the early start, the season is expected to finish in late May. Seeka is satisfied with the service delivered to our growers to date and the fruit's quality and performance to the market. It looks forward to continuing a safe and successful 2019 kiwifruit harvest.

For more information:
Kim McFadden
Seeka
Kim.McFadden@seeka.co.nz

 

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australian grapes grow in Korea

Export volumes of Australian table grapes have nearly quadrupled to Korea following tariff-free access.


In 2018 the Taste Australia campaign was brought to Korea to introduce Australia's premium grapes to Korean consumers.

Initially, the campaign was run and grapes stocked exclusively, at Hyundai Department Stores, but this year export volumes have increased and Korean retailers Emart and Shinsegae Department Store have joined Hyundai as stockists.

Grapes can be purchased at all Emart outlets, and selected Hyundai and Shinsegae stores, as well as a number of franchise fruit shops and wholesale markets. Samples of table grapes were handed out between 28 March and 14 April to consumers in-store covering a range of different varieties.

In 2018 the import duty for Australian table grapes was also eliminated under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Australia’s table grape export season runs from January to May, and in the year ending June 2018, export volumes to Korea had almost quadrupled, up 379 per cent; albeit, from a small base, and in line with eliminations of the tariff, which reduced from 45 per cent to 6 per cent in 2017.

Since 2017, Australian table grapes have been promoted in the Korean market under a new brand name, Tams Gold. The name is a combination of the word ‘tams-rudba’, which Austrade says translates to ‘attractive, nice, ripe and delicious looking’, and the word gold which symbolises the golden/green colour of grapes.

At the time of the re-brand, Australian ambassador to Korea, James Choi, said the aim of the branding was to help assist Korean importers to satisfy the demand for quality grapes in Korea.

Joon Choi of major importer Soo Il Commerce said in mid-March he was gearing up for an aggressive approach toward grape promotions and has noted growth in the category due to increased volumes from the US.

Choi also said a range of new grape varieties entering Korea has peaked consumer interest.

This article was originally published in the June 2019 edition of Asiafruit Magazine

http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit 

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Indian mango exports - Mango consignments leaving for US & Australia

As Alphonso mangoes are in great demand in many markets abroad, they form a substantial chunk of India’s export basket. The mango export season has started in Maharashtra, with 28 tons of the fruit leaving for American and Australian shores.

Officers of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) said they are aiming for a 15-20 per cent increase compared to last year’s exports. This year, Board officials have set a target of 800 tons of exports for US markets.

MSAMB officials said the 28 tons of mangoes, meant for American and Australian markets, have been treated in an irradiation facility in Vashi. Similarly, 7.5 tons of mangoes for Russian and New Zealand markets have received the vapour heat treatment.

In order to facilitate exports, the MSAMB recently organised two workshops in Konkan for farmers, as well as for buyers and sellers. Workshops were also conducted on how to produce export-quality fruits.

Source: indianexpress.com via www.freshplaza.com 

Indonesia tastes Australian grapes

Promotional tasting events held across Indonesia in line with increased volumes due to new varieties
This year, Indonesia will enjoy a 20 per cent increase in volume of Australian table grapes on the market.

The island-nation exported more than 15,000 tonnes of grapes in 2018 and is expecting to increase on that number in 2019. New varieties coming into maturity are cited for the increase in volumes, as well as favourable growing conditions producing a quality yield.

Australia exports a wide range of seed and seedless varieties of grapes to Indonesia including Red Globe, Crimson Seedless, Thompson Seedless, Autumn Royal, Moondrop and Midnight Beauty.

Promotional events held across Indonesian retailers by marketing board Taste Australia, tout Australian table grapes for their nutritional value and convenience.

Tasting events will be held throughout April at participating supermarkets including FoodHall, LionSuperindo, Aeon, Frestive, Carrefour and Hypermart.

Hort Innovation trade lead, Dianne Phan, said the short shipping times between Australia and Indonesia meant Aussie grapes were able to get into the Indonesian market quickly and in top condition.

“Australia has an excellent reputation as a supplier of nutritious and high-quality fresh fruit. Our unique, pristine environment makes it the ideal place to grow fresh produce,” she said.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a range of fresh grapes direct from our vineyards to customers in Indonesia.”

 

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer 

China cherry potential

China offers great export opportunities to Argentine and Australian cherry growers, says Fruta Cloud
China will become a top cherry market for newcomers Argentina and Australia, despite tariff and fumigation challenges, as cherry demand throughout the country grows, predicts Fruta Cloud.

The Shanghai-based B2B imported fruit service provider said mainland Australia, which gained cherry access last year, has a geographical and transport-cost advantage over top cherry supplier Chile. Meanwhile, Argentina, which also gained cherry access last year, can express-ship its cherries by sea three times a week.

Indeed, Fruta Cloud said it was the first company to introduce Argentine cherries to the market this season by supplying Alibaba Group’s Hema supermarkets.

Fruta Cloud said the export opportunities for Australia and Argentina cherries in China out-weigh the challenges, which for Australia include preserving fruit quality after compulsory fumigation, and for Argentina involve a 10 per cent import tariff and a cold-treatment protocol.

“As the demand for cherries is growing stronger, it is believed that China will become one of the most important exporting markets for Argentinian and Australian cherries. Lucky Chinese consumers are provided with more options for cherries,” Fruta Cloud said in a press release.

Chile is currently China’s top Southern Hemisphere cherry supplier, shipping over 15,000 tonnes of cherries via ocean and sea from late October to the end of February, Fruta Cloud said.

“Chilean cherries have been performing well in recent years owing to their outstanding quality, such as large size and good firmness,” the company said in statement. “Thus Chilean cherries win a good reputation among consumers. In addition, the huge marketing investment from [Chilean exporter association] Asoex in China has also played a significant role in this item’s success.”

After years targetting China’s first-tier cities, Chilean cherry exporters are now focusing on the second and third-tier cities, which have great consumption potential, Fruta Cloud added.

Fruta Cloud said it helped Asoex launch Chilean cherries at Shuangfu Wholesale Market in Chongqing in January this year. “This event successfully ignited the passion for Chilean cherries in Midwest China,” Fruta Cloud said.

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

Author: Luisa Cheshire 

Berries Australia: Govt must do more to address labour shortage

Industry body Berries Australia has welcomed the extension of the skilled visa program but says the government needs to go further to address the underlying farm labor shortage.

The change involves moving most agricultural occupations from the short-term list to the regional occupations list which makes visa holders eligible for a four-year visa, double the current term.

Executive director of Berries Australia, Rachel Mackenzie, said that growers in many regions welcomed this decision as the two year turn over for their more senior staff resulted in significant disruption to their businesses.

“However. the government decision only covers skilled occupations and not unskilled labour such as fruit-picking. A new Agriculture Visa or improved Pacific Seasonal Workers program would address farm labour shortages by allowing farmers to hire a dedicated overseas
workforce on a temporary basis,” said Mackenzie.

The US$1.4 billion berry category is now the single largest fresh produce category in Australia and consumption is increasing across the county. To continue to grow, the berry industry needs access to reliable workers and this announcement will go some way toward meeting
these needs.

“Berries Australia is committed to ensuring that growers can access an effective workforce to meet their needs, as part of that we are keen to look at ways to increase the number of Australians employed on farm,” Mackenzie said.

“It may seem counter-intuitive but being able to access the skills we need from overseas means that berry businesses can be more profitable and in turn, employ more locals.”

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

New Zealand - Spotlight on quality avocado to Australia

Jen Scoular:

Normally there is a collective sigh of relief as NZ finishes an avocado export season but this year it's a different story. They experienced significant quality issues post-November, especially for their avocados going into the Australian market.

NZ harvests avocados five months of the year for export markets, and aim to harvest just in time to be cooled and packed, loaded on to the appropriate vessel, arrive in Australia to be cleared, trucked to the distribution centre or wholesale market and be available to customer orders.

Avocados are unlike kiwifruit and apples where they are all harvested at once, then coolstored until the market is ready. The tree is the coolstore, and post-harvest needs to be as speedy as possible.

Another challenge is that the New Zealand growing season is cooler and wetter than growing seasons in Western Australia, Chile, Peru and Mexico — who are NZ competitors.

 Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12210443