Cherry

Asylum seekers help to fill hort labour shortage in regional Victoria

This year has been particularly challenging for producers to find workers.

COVID-19 restrictions have caused a collapse in the number of working holiday visa holders — the backpacking workforce crucial to the agricultural industry.

Working holiday visas have fallen from about 140,000 at the end of 2019 to about 50,000 now.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) estimates there will be a shortage of 26,000 agricultural workers when demand peaks around March.

This inspired university  Aviva White, who volunteers at the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) in Melbourne. 

"We noticed a lot of coverage within the media about huge labour shortages in the agriculture industry, that there was lots of fruit to be picked and lots of jobs on farms available," she said.

That led to a collaboration with Regional Australians for Refugees (RAR), who heard about jobs going at Koala Cherries in Yarck.

Read the full article

Source : https://www.abc.net.au/

Author: Norman Hermant 

 

 

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

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 

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

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 

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 cherry crop sizes up well

Early forecasts point to solid national crop, with mainland growers sending directly to China via airfreight
As Australia’s early-season cherry harvest gets underway, hopes are high for a record crop.

Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all major production regions were cropping well, with growers on track to surpass the 16,000 tonne mark for the first time.

“The forecast at the moment depends on how bullish you want to be … we would have to be starting this year at a baseline of 20 per cent higher than 15,000 tonnes, so it will be about 18,000 tonnes," Eastlake told ABC News.

“Assuming we don't have any adverse weather events come through, I would be reasonably confident we hit that mark."

Cherry growers in New South Wales are optimistic about crop forecasts, despite the state being in the grips of drought.

Water storage in the key production hub surrounding the township of Young is down, but many don’t foresee this as a wholesale problem.

“It means we just have to manage our water supply well,” Fiona Hall, managing director of Caernarvon Cherry Co, told Asiafruit. “Good management will mean there will be no impact on the crop as we hope for more rain through early summer.”

The dry spell, coupled with a warm winter, resulted in a later blossom in New South Wales, which has seen a later start to harvest for some growers.

Further south in Victoria, growers are reporting an above average fruit set, although some areas were affected by an early frost at budbreak. This has been compensated by a better than average fruit set on other varieties.

Michael Rouget, managing director of Victorian-based grower-packer-exporter Koala Cherries, said he was expecting a “normal crop to slightly above average" on his orchards.

Cautious optimism for China

Having secured significant market access improvements in January this year, the upcoming 2018/19 campaign will see mainland cherry growers send fruit directly to China via airfreight for the first time. However, it will be with an eye on laying the foundations for what the industry hopes will develop into a lucrative market.

“It is a positive step forward. People are optimistic but cautious given this is new territory for mainland cherry producers in Australia,” Rouget said. “I think this season most growers will trial shipments through this pathway but do it cautiously.”

The new protocol with China requires all mainland cherries grown outside recognised pest free areas to undergo methyl bromide treatment prior to export.

Hugh Molloy of Antico International says an adherence to high-quality will be crucial when it comes to developing market share in China.

“There is specific and unique demand for Australian supply if we can deliver consistent high quality, firm, sweet fruit,” Molloy told Asiafruit. “If this is established over November and December, the sales draw should then flow on into the Tasmanian supply window, which this year is perfectly suited to and timed for the Chinese New Year gifting period.”

 

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

Author : Matthew Jones

Export demand soaring - Cherry growers expect largest Australian crop ever

Cherry producers across Australia are looking at a bumper season, and early crop forecasts suggest this year's crop will reach new highs, making it Australia's largest cherry crop in history. Consumers might see a higher supply than usual this year, but growers are setting their sights on increasing their export numbers considerably.

Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all production areas were recording a good crop, ranging from a light to heavy crop. The national record for the Australian cherry crop is about 15,000 tonnes.

"The forecast at the moment depends on how bullish you want to be … we would have to be starting this year at a baseline of 20 per cent higher than 15,000 tonnes, so it will be about 18,000 tonnes," Eastlake said. "Assuming we don't have any adverse weather events come through, I would be reasonably confident we hit that mark."

Riverland cherry grower Leon Cotsaris started harvesting early variety cherries at his orchard two weeks ago, and said growing conditions this year were great. "We had a fairly mild spring, which has been pretty good, although it's been very dry.”

He said fruit size and quality this year were good, but dependent on weather conditions in coming weeks.

Cherry Growers Association of South Australia president and Adelaide Hills grower Nick Noske said they had been expecting high yields last year, but many growers' crops were severely damaged by hail and rain.

Abc.net.au reports that despite a bumper crop, consumers might not see extreme price drops this season as growers look to export markets. Due to the reopening of the Vietnamese market and new market access to China last year, demand for Australian cherries is high.


Publication date : 11/6/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com

Taste Australia yields big results in foreign trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

Tariff elimination to boost Australian cherries in China, says importer

Australian cherries are set to benefit from the elimination of tariffs in the Chinese market from the start of next year, according to one importer.

A free trade agreement was signed between the two countries in 2014, with Australian cherry exporters to be subject to zero-tariffs in China from Jan. 1, 2019.

Huang Xianhua, general manager of Shanghai Oheng Import & Export Co., told Fresh Fruit Portal Australian cherries would therefore be on a level playing field with Chile in terms of tariffs.

Chile signed an FTA with China in 2005, and sends the vast majority of its cherries to the Asian country.

Xianhua added that Australia’s higher production costs compared to Chile would be partially offset by its relative proximity to the market, while will save freight costs and make the country more competitive.

Australia is expected to produce a record 18,000 metric tons (MT) of cherries this year, with a little under half due to be exported, according to a USDA forecast. Meanwhile, Chile is expecting to export similar volumes to last season, which saw a huge export rise to 180,000MT.

And according to Xianhua, Chile faces numerous challenges with cherries.

“The processing capacity during the peak of harvest is insufficient, production is easily affected by weather conditions, and the quality is inconsistent, but they are hesitant to invest in protection such as rain nets if the investment it too big,” he said.

U.S.-China trade war
Xianhua also said that the U.S.-China trade war has led to a poor performance of U.S. cherries in the Chinese market this year. China has risen tariffs on the fruit by 40% over recent months, with the latest round coming into effect on July 6.

“This is an enormous cost and is unable to completely be shifted to the consumer end. In the end, the importers have to pay this extra bill,” he said.

Many importers stopped bringing in U.S. cherries while those who continued have run into difficulties, he said.

Other origins have been unable to fill the supply gap, he added.

“There is no [country] that can fully replace it. Canada’s supply is still limited, and Central Asian’s season is too early, also the quality is not good enough and they also have to worry about cold treatment,” he said.

 

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com

USDA to purchase US$500M of produce as part of trade war assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it will purchase more than US$200 million of apples and cherries as part of its assistance programs to growers impacted by tariffs implemented by countries like China.

A total of a little more than US$500 million will be spent on fruits, vegetables and tree nuts under the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which has a total budget of US$1.2 billion.

The Food Purchase and Distribution Program is one of three programs – along with the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) – with a total value of US$12 billion recently announced for farmers affected by “unjustified retaliation by foreign nations.”

China has implemented heavy tariffs on all U.S. agricultural exports, while Mexico has set duties for imports of some fruits including apples.

The amounts of commodities to be purchased through the AMS program are based on “an economic analysis of the damage caused by unjustified tariffs imposed on the crops listed below,” the USDA said.

“Their damages will be adjusted based on several factors and spread over several months in response to orders placed by states participating in the FNS nutrition assistance programs,” it said.

The USDA has set aside US$111.5 million for sweet cherries, US$93.4 million for apples, US$85.2 million for pistachios, US$63.3 million for almonds US$55.6 for fresh oranges, US$48.2 million for grapes, US$44.5 million for potatoes, US$34.6 million for walnuts and US$32.8 million for cranberries.

For cherries and almonds, the USDA said the program details are yet to be defined, and these two commodities were not included in the program’s US$1.2 billion budget.

For fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, assistance was also announced for apricots, blueberries, figs, grapefruit, hazelnuts, kidney beans, lemons/limes, Macadamia nuts, Navy beans, orange juice, pears, peas, pecans, plums/prunes, strawberries and sweetcorn.

“Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs,” said Perdue.

Perdue said that after careful analysis, this strategy has been formulated to mitigate the trade damages sustained by farmers.

“President Trump has been standing up to China and other nations, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property,” he said.

“In short, the President has taken action to benefit all sectors of the American economy – including agriculture – in the long run.

“It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow, if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior. But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the President to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”

Click here to view the USDA press release.

 

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com 

Northwest cherry harvest kicks off

The region has been spared by heavy winter damage and is looking likely to meet its 23m-carton estimate
The Northwest cherry industry is looking well positioned to meet its crop estimate of 23m cartons.

Last Friday, harvest was predicted to kick off over the following few days and will be easing into full swing this week. It will take the industry around two weeks to begin reaching the 200,000 carton-a-day mark.

Following a growers meeting in May which collected predicted yield data, industry volunteers have gathered on-the-ground orchard data for an official crop estimate.

The estimate came in at 23m 20lb (9kg) cartons, after a series of four estimates covering nearly three-quarters of the industry’s orchards.

Field reports have come back with instances of fewer flowers per bud, which would typically translate into larger and better fruit as the tree’s growing energy is distributed into fewer cherries. The Northwest Cherry Growers Association noted that the larger fruit will impact total production and overall shipping velocities by region and variety.

Despite a low yielding season for the California cherry crop, the Northwest was spared heavy winter damage.

In the month of June, the association predicts 9m cartons of cherries will be shipped out, ahead of last year’s 7.7m. The Yakima Valley has warmed up early this year, meaning there will be four Northwest regions shipping simultaneously.

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer