About AHEA

What does AHEA do?

Australian Horticultural Exporters' Association (AHEA) is a national association formed to promote the development of the export and import of fresh horticultural resources. AHEA’s board and members are representative stakeholders across the horticulture industry.

Why was AHEA formed?

AHEA, in its current form as the peak industry body for Australian horticultural exporters commenced in 1987, as a ‘not for profit’ organisation representing the interests of Australian horticultural exporters to both Government and industry to facilitate trade.  

Benefits of joining AHEA

AHEA and its members identify issues that affect exports and imports and work on solutions to facilitate and maintain trade.  Members are regularly updated on all important issues affecting horticultural exports and imports via member email messages, e-newsletters and on the website.

AHEA is also managing the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) project which will result in a new Australian Horticulture Export Portal (AHEP) to foster knowledge sharing between Australian exporters and Asian importers.  This project has one year until completion and is matched in kind with resources from Austrade for research and physical resources from Queensland Trade and Investment and DAFF.  Austrade are also providing in country research into Korea, China and Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.

Become an AHEA Member!

Ensure your export and import industry is protected by a national representative body always monitoring developments and potential threats on your behalf.  AHEA offers a help desk to your issues at only a call away. Contact AHEA staff at admin@ahea.com.au for your application form.

Major Past Achievements

The AHEA ….

  • has been front and centre with multiple representations to DoA and the Minister for Agriculture on market failures and loss of trading to Vietnam, etc.
  • presented on the State of Horticultural exports and opportunities at the Minister’s Horticulture Industry Forum held at Parliament House on 19 March 2015.
  • have greatly increased profile of AHEA and its members with government and industry agencies, industry forums, etc.
  • is currently establishing a horticulture portal to provide information on commodities and markets so exporters can make the best commercial decisions.
  • provided numerous AHEA submissions, eg GST on Food, Agriculture Green Paper, Port of Melbourne sale, Agriculture Competitiveness Issues Paper’, Air Cargo Security Discussion Papers’, etc.
  • continually scans for opportunities to leverage funding from grants to develop and improve the horticulture export and import industry.  AHEA currently has submitted funding applications for development of Australian Standards and Airfreight Protocols.
  • established the AHEA Horticulture Import Committee to provide expert input to the DoA Import Food Consultative Committee.
  • Facilitated the first Australian Export Brochure ‘ Industry Capability Report’ since 1985 (see www.ahea.com.au home page)
  • Provides annual ‘bible’ of export and import statistics on Australian fresh fruit and vegetable to members at AGM.
  • negotiated hub trial extension of hours and changes to the services level agreement.
  • negotiated reduced fees and charges at Ports
  • facilitated State and Federal Governments on a national fruit fly strategy.
  • was instrumental at extending to exporters the registered establishment fee refunds
  • conducted Trade and Market Access forums in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2014 – including 67 importers and 8 Exec Chefs from Malaysia.
  • prevented removal of AQIS 40% subsidy rebate, saving exporters more than $4 million over 2 years. 
  • negotiated a refund to exporters of nearly $800,000 in overcharged AQIS fees backdated to July 2009. 
  • has played a key role with AQIS in reviewing citrus and mango export inspection work plans and influencing discussions with Thailand, China, Japan and Korea to allow commercial focused protocols.
  • continues representation at OHMA, HEICC and IFCC, along with various Forums.
  • continues ongoing and open dialogues with Grower bodies about export related issues impacting on the horticultural industry, and to enhance export sectors.  
  • has participated in a number of Government forums to discuss the review of usage of various chemicals on fresh fruit and vegetable crops, including Dimethoate and Fenthion.
  • supported continued improvements in citrus protocol for Japan, which saw Japan remove need to have a MAFF inspector during the citrus export season to sign off each shipment under cold treatment, and replace with an annual audit arrangement, which included winter window area freedom for Sunraysia.
  • negotiated a breakthrough with China to gain access to table grapes and improved access for citrus and mangoes, which offers a more commercially viable and less restrictive protocol for exporters and growers.
  • supported BA and DFAT to maintain and improve trade and quarantine conditions to Thailand, particularly table grapes and cherries and the need to keep access open for air-freighted Australian fresh produce.
  • Was instrumental in stone fruit and cherry fruit fly research and encouraged Fruit Fly R&D on apples and pears. Taiwan reinstated access in 2010 for cherries and stone fruit under cold treatment conditions.
  • negotiated Biosecurity acceptance of in-transit cold disinfestations as a commercial treatment for fruit fly host commodities exported to India, and has regained access for kiwifruit.
  • pushed for change in NZ access priorities including renewal of protocol for stone fruits and selected vegetables.   AHEA has also been involved in restoring the valuable tomato and rock melon export trade to NZ that was concerned about Dimethoate dipping post harvest.


AHEA Executive Committee 2017/2018

Chairman Joe Saina A S Barr (WA) Pty Ltd Qld
  Joe Tullio Australia Fruits Imports Pty Ltd Vic
Executive Mark Hall Valleypack Vic
  Hugh Molloy         Antico International NSW
  Gary Esterman Benny's Fruit Exports Vic
  Brian Ceresa Costa Group Vic
  Mark Pidgeon United Exports WA
  Prudence Barker BGP International Vic
  David Hooper Harvest Moon Tas


If you would you like to contact an AHEA Committee Member, contact AHEA National offices on tel: 07 3379 4983 or email admin@ahea.com.au.

“This project has been funded by the Australian Trade Commission as a part of the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) grant program and is supported by Trade and Investment Queensland and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland.”

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Australian Horticultural Exporters' Association.

ABN: 42 141 086 602