Bumper California navel deal predicted

Fruit set is up 22 per cent on the five-year average meaning high volumes expected despite no increase in total hectares planted
Starting from a lower plantation base this season the California navel deal is looking to be the most fruitful in volume since the 2005-2006 season. The news comes with significance as total land volume this season is down 8,700 planted hectares from ten years prior.

Survey data from the California navel Orange Objective Measurement Report indicated a fruit set per tree of 426, above the five-year average of 333 (up 22 per cent).

The survey predicts the initial 2018-2019 navel orange forecast is 80m cartons, up 11 percent from the previous year. Of the total navel orange forecast, 77m cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley.

Bearing orchards are at the same number of hectares as the year prior, but with the higher fruit set (up 426 per tree from 273 last season) the hope is that forecast volumes will be bumper.

However, total tonnage might not be as high due to fruit diameter at a lower September 1 average. The five-year average as of September 1 was at 6.8cm, now down to 5.3cm.

 

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

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

Indonesia boost for Australian exporters

Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will mean reduced tariffs and greater opportunities

Australian farmers will have tariffs reduced and be able to export more agricultural products including citrus to Indonesia, after the coalition government signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

It gives producers and exporters the opportunity to grow their A$3.5bn share of the Indonesian market - indeed, Indonesia is Australi's fourth-largest agricultural export destination.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the coalition government continued to deliver farmers better access to more markets.

“This agreement improve access for industries which trade most to Indonesia, including our livestock, beef and sheepmeat, grains, sugar, dairy, citrus and horticulture,” he said.

“Oranges and limes will get increased duty-free access while dairy, mandarins, potatoes and carrots will get reduced tariffs," he confirmed.

The conclusion of substantive negotiation of IA-CEPA was signed in Indonesia by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Key agricultural outcomes of the IA-CEPA include immediate tariff cuts on mandarins from 25 per cent to 10 per cent for 7,500 tonnes per year, down to 0 per cent after 20 years for an unlimited volume, and duty free access for 10,000 tonnes of oranges per year, increasing 5 per cent each year, as well as duty free access for 5,000 tonnes of lemons and limes per year, increasing 2.5 per cent each year.

The agreement also means immediate tariff cuts for potatoes from 25 per cent to 10 per cent for 10,000 tonnes per year; after five years tariff further reduced to 5 per cent for 12,500 tonnes per year, increasing by 2.5 per cent per year, and immediate tariff cuts for carrots from 25 per cent to 10 per cent (from 25 per cent) for 5,000 tonnes per year; down to 0 per cent after 15 years for an unlimited volume.

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 

Australia launches 10-year berry export plan amid soaring growth

Australia’s Hort Innovation has launched the Berry Export Strategy 2028 for the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry industries following huge international growth over recent years.

The dedicated export plan to grow the three sectors’ global presence over the next decade was driven by significant grower input, the organization said.

Hort Innovation trade manager Jenny Van de Meeberg said the value and volume of raspberry and blackberry exports rose by 100 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Strawberry exports rose 30 percent in volume and 26 percent in value over the same period.

“Australian berry sectors are in a firm position at the moment,” she said.

“Production, adoption of protected substrate cropping, improved genetics and an expanding geographic footprint have all helped put Aussie berries on a positive trajectory.

“We are seeing a real transition point. Broad industry interest and a strong commercial appetite for export market development combined with the potential to capitalise on existing trade agreements and build new trade partnerships has created this perfect environment for growth.”

High-income countries in Europe, North America and northern Asia have been identified as having a palate for Australian-grown berries, with more than 4,244 metric tons (MT) of fresh berries exported in the last financial year alone.

The strategy identified the best short-term prospect markets for the Australian blackberry and raspberry industry as Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

The strongest short-term trade options identified for the strawberry sector were Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand and Macau.

The strategy focuses heavily on growing the existing strawberry export market from 4 percent to at least 8 percent of national production by volume. For raspberries and blackberries, the sectors aim to achieve a 5 percent boost in exports assessed by volume across identified markets by 2021.

Tasmanian raspberry exporter Nic Hansen said: “The more options we have for export the better. Now we just have to get on with the job of ensuring industry has all the tools it needs, such as supporting data and relationship building opportunities, to thrive in new markets.”

 

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com

Backing Aussie rockmelon on the world stage

Media Release
Minister David Littleproud
Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources

The Coalition Government is providing a grant of $100,200 to help the melon industry get back on its feet after the February 2018 listeria outbreak.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the outbreak on a single melon farm was a tragedy which resulted in six deaths in Australia.

“What happened earlier this year was absolutely tragic,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The human cost was huge for those who ate those melons and for the families and friends of those who died.

“The outbreak gutted the industry hurting farmers thousands of kilometres from the source.

“Industry estimates it cost about $60-million because growers couldn’t sell their fruit and had to leave it on the vine to rot.

“Since then the Australian Melon Association and Horticulture Innovation Australia have been working hard to significantly improve on-farm food safety practices.

“Before this outbreak, Australian rockmelons where sought-after internationally, and we are going to help them regain that status.

“Through this funding we are working with the Australian Melon Association (AMA) to re-establish key markets such as Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia.

“This grant will help the melon industry to get boots on the ground overseas with trade visits by teams of expert growers, exporters and food safety scientists.

“It will also help the AMA to develop marketing and communications materials to distribute to export markets, Austrade in-market offices and relevant government and health authorities.

“I congratulate the AMA for being proactive in working for rockmelon growers to get their market share back.”

Dianne Fullelove
Industry Development Manager
Australian Melon Association Inc
Mobile: 0413 101 646
Email: idp@melonsaustralia.org.au

Vietnam wants its mangoes to be a key export product

The South Vietnamese province of Dong Thap, the largest mango producer in the Mekong Delta with 9,200 hectares and an annual production of almost 100 thousand tons, intends to turn this fruit into a key export product by 2020.

According to Nguyen Thanh Tai, the deputy director of the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, to achieve this purpose, Dong Thap has invested in improving its technological infrastructure, a levee system, and agricultural technology in order to achieve Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP) and remarkable results in the post harvest industry.

He said that two areas devoted to growing mango in the city of Cao Lanh, which have a combined extension of 33 hectares, had achieved Global GAP standards, while two other areas, which together amount to more than 48 hectares, met the standards of Good Agricultural Practices of Vietnam (VietGAP).

So far, said Thanh Tai, the town has developed six safe mango production areas with an area of ​​more than 416 hectares, and it has registered the intellectual property of its Cat Chu Cao Lanh and Mango Cao Lanh brands.

Thanh Tai highlighted that the province had managed to maintain the mango supply throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Phuong Tuyen, the head of the Office of Technology and Information Technology Research of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province wouldn't expand the cultivation areas of mango in the future, but that it would focus on investing in storage and processing areas to improve the mango's production value chain.

Under contracts signed more than two years ago, Dong Thap exported 100 to 200 tons of mango each month to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong (China), and New Zealand.

Tran Van Ha, from the University of Can Tho, advised Dong Thap to foster connectivity among farmers and between farmers and businesses to boost production, one of the key pillars of the province's agricultural restructuring strategy.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Bao Ve, the former director of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Can Tho, said that the province should manage the maintenance of this fruit tree to improve the quality of mango, while concentrating on diversifying products to meet the demands of the market.


Source: VNA via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 7/3/2018

Abbotsleigh Citrus featured in Bundaberg promotion

Abbotsleigh Citrus, purchased by Nutrano Produce Group in 2016, is one of the major businesses featured in an industry promotional video by Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers.

Nutrano CEO and Managing Director, Steven Chaur, said it was a tribute to the staff at Abbotsleigh Citrus that the farm has become a pin-up performer for the region.

“We are delighted for our Abbotsleigh Citrus farm to have been chosen as a showcase for the success of horticulture in this highly productive region,” Mr Chaur said.

The 190-hectare farm has over 60,000 citrus trees, growing some of the finest lemons in Australia, as well as Imperial, Hickson and Honey Murcott mandarins. In 2011, blueberries were added successfully to the mix, and Abbotsleigh now produces 800 tonnes annually under nets.

Mr Chaur said Abbotsleigh Citrus farm is exceptionally well suited to growing citrus, with deep, well drained alluvial soils, minimal frost, and access to high-quality, reliable irrigation water from the Burnett River which surrounds the farm.

“As a vertically integrated business, we grow, pack, market and transport our quality produce to ensure that customers receive the freshest produce possible, every time."

“Our packing shed at Abbotsleigh Citrus covers 4,500 square meters and is fitted with a modern packing line, including a state of the art blemish grader and computerised equipment capable of packing in excess of 120 tonnes per day."

“Another key attribute of the Bundaberg region is access to labour, with a strong local community, seasonal worker program and as a great working-holiday destination for back packers,” Mr Chaur said.

For more information;
Jonathan Raymond
Tel: +61 (613) 9663 3222
jonathan@medialinkproductions.com
www.nutrano.com.au

Publication date: 7/2/2018

 

Source and image: www.freshplaza.com

 

Australian supermarket chain Coles vows to stop importing lemons

Major Australian supermarket chain Coles announced on Monday it would cease importing lemons and instead stock Australian-grown fruit year-round, Weekly Times Now reported.

It said this would include the window between December and January when most Australian growers struggled to produce a commercial crop and retailers were left to rely on imports to fill the void.

Coles general manager Brad Gorman said the move to close the summer supply gap was part of the retail chain’s “Australian-first” sourcing policy.

Citrus Australia chairman Ben Cant said it was good news for growers.

“Otherwise those lemons would need to be sold in a peak production period, which would push prices down,” Cant was quoted as saying.

“So anything we can do to ease the bubbles of supply, the better the returns are on average for growers.”

Queensland lemon growers Kathleen and Stephen Stenhouse, from Bundaberg, said many citrus suppliers talked about bridging the import gap.

Australia is a net lemon importer, with most coming from the US.

www.freshfruitportal.com

Vietnam: UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes

Mekong River Delta


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the People’s Committee of the Dong Thap province invited over 120 high-level participants from the public and private sector to discuss opportunities to strengthen the mango value chain, and to build a modern mango export system for Vietnam.

With a total area of 43,000 hectares and an output of 500,000 tons per year, mango is one of the key fruit trees in, and one of the main income sources of the Mekong Delta with high international potential in markets such as China, Japan, Korea and Russia. However, at 27 per cent, the post-harvest loss rate is very high.

Karl Schebesta from UNIDO introduced the Centre of Excellence approach to strengthen the mango value chain: “The centre offers appropriate models and upgraded technologies to improve the quality of agricultural products; to reduce post-harvest losses; and to improve the organizational and managerial production structure in rural areas.”

Located in the city of Cao Lanh in the Dong Thap province, the centre was set-up in close cooperation with Kim Nhung Company to also serve as a model for replication and upscaling. By working with the centre, the company improved its capacity from 15 - 20 tons per day to 60 tons per day. At the same time, the post-harvest loss rate at over 300 participating farms reduced to 50, 30 and now 15 per cent.

“All these are key elements allowing to increase the income while improving the livelihood of small-holder farmers and their families,” MARD’s Nguyen Minh Tien told europeansting.com, adding: “This proves that applying proper post-harvest technology along the value chain is the solution, which can be scaled-up and applied to other agro value chains, also in other provinces of Vietnam.”

Publication date: 6/26/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com

New guide speaks Mandarin QA for growers

Australian Murcott mandarin growers have a new tool to help them win export sales, with backing from the national Farming Together program.

Developed for the Queensland Citrus Exporters Group, the new training materials will ensure quality standards, including fruit appearance, to secure domestic and export sales.

A QA manual, standards booklet and poster were developed through the Australian Government-backed Farming Together program to reduce the variability of fruit being offered to buyers.

Project officer Zane Nicholls from Nambour said: “It was a great project and one that is very usable elsewhere. Many growers in this industry – and others – can benefit from this.”

Farming Together consultant Chris Capel helped the group develop the tools, including a 56-page Murcott variety manual. “The guide will provide an instant source of information on quality parameters for all current packing facilities to fine-tune their controls,” she said. The project also included training sessions and benchmarking exercises and a poster designed to be displayed in packaging-shed lunchrooms and quality control zones.

“These products have been delivered to group members with favourable feedback,” said Chris. “The information will be of extreme importance for any new business, staff member or emerging industry looking for a reference point.

“This opportunity will allow the project legacy to remain for many years. It will provide a lasting impression on the Murcott export market.”

Chris said the tools could also be shared with other mandarin-growing regions and producers. “The products could definitely be retrofit to suit other citrus industries, for example, lemons. There may even be wider appeal across horticulture industries for these products than anticipated.”

Zane said Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries would be extending the Farming Together work to improve the uniformity of Murcotts packed for export markets. “That will build on Australia’s reputation for delivering quality produce,” he added.

Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said: “The growing international appetite for Australian citrus fruit requires conformity of standards. We congratulate the Queensland growers for collaborating in this project.”

The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program (known as Farming Together) is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.

In less than two years Farming Together has had contact with more than 21,000 farmers, making it possibly Australia’s largest farmer agency. It has supported more than 730 collaborative farm, fish and forestry groups. In its first year the program turned a $9.21m Australian Government investment into $20.45m of value-added production, creating 131 full-time equivalent jobs. And in less than a year it fostered 180 co-ops, possibly the largest number of co-ops in Australian farming history.

The Farming Together pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University and runs until 30 June 2018. The program delivery team comprises highly experienced senior staff drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.

For more info: www.farmingtogether.com.au 


Publication date: 6/21/2018