United Exports appoints Sean Li as China business manager

Global blueberry specialist United Exports has named Sean Li (Li Xiangrong in Chinese) as their business manager for China, part of an ongoing expansion plan for it's OZblu brand and genetics.

According to a United Exports statement, Sean Li has 11 years’ experience in the industry, most recently as the blueberry product team manager at Dole China. Li developed and managed the strategic sourcing plan, for the year-round supply of blueberries, from the domestic and import markets and interfaced with the retail trade, as well as for suppliers and growers.

“I am really excited about the growth of the blueberry category in China and the flourishing consumer interest in the fruit’s health benefits. Blueberries also have a positive impact for humankind in terms of economic, social and environmental development,” Li said in the statement.

This newly created position in the global group is brought about by United Exports’ expansion using its OZblu genetics and its ability to supply blueberries to China year-round.

The company has been expanding its offer of OZblu genetics and its capabilities since an agreement to grow the blueberries in Peru to supply the Americas in early 2018, followed by another agreement to add production in the Northern Hemisphere in 2019.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com/

Record revenue for Seeka

Seeka has announced it generated record revenue of NZ$$310m (US$208m) for the year ended 31 December 2021 (FY21), a result powered by improved kiwifruit production.

The listed New Zealand company’s net profit before tax was also up 44 per cent year-on-year, to NZ$23.5m, results chief executive Michael Franks attributed to a long-term strategy.

"Seeka's 2021 financial performance comes from a deliberate strategy to significantly improve Seeka’s underlying operating earnings," said Franks.

"Revenue is up 23 per cent to a record NZ$310m helped by a rebound in Hayward kiwifruit volumes and the ongoing lift in SunGold kiwifruit production. EBITDA is up 32 per cent to A$56.8m as a tight focus on costs improved Seeka’s operating margin, especially following the one-off Covid-19 expenses incurred in FY20. FY21 EBITDA also benefited from a NZ$7.6m compensation payment from the Crown’s settlement of the Psa kiwifruit class action.

 Franks said Seeka had also increased its regional service with three major kiwifruit acquisitions.

“These acquisitions have grown Seeka's market share, and we are planning on handling 26 per cent of the national kiwifruit crop in 2022. The businesses are now fully integrated and are set to deliver significant synergy gains in FY22,” said Franks.

"Post-harvest capacity was reviewed and a decision on a greenfield development at Pukenga was deferred in favour of a NZ$20m capacity upgrade in the Bay of Plenty. A highly-automated MAF Roda packline is being installed at KKP and new coolstores with environmentally-friendly coolant are under construction at Transcool. These upgrades are expected to deliver sufficient capacity through to 2024.

"Seeka’s growth has led to an enlarged, five bank syndicated facility to fund near-term capacity upgrades. It also provides headroom to continue Seeka's growth strategy."

 

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

Author: Liam O'Callaghan

T&G counts on high quality apple crop

New Zealand grower-marketer plans to pick more than 120,000 tonnes of apples as it braces for “tough season” with labour and logistics

T&G Global has begun harvesting and shipping the first of this season’s New Zealand apple crop, with plans to pick more than 6.5m (18kg) cartons, which equates to over 120,000 tonnes.

Craig Betty, director of operations for T&G Global, said quality is looking good across all varieties this season, with fruit generally sizing well.

“For our premium Jazz and Envy brands, we’re seeing good quality and fruit size better than 2021,” said Betty.

“With hot and humid weather for early harvest in the Hawke’s Bay, striking the right conditions to develop good foreground colour has been challenging, but the recent change of weather should see this improve.

“In the South Island, we’ve seen higher than usual rainfall in spring, followed by warm summer temperatures which should see a full crop and improved sizing on 2021.”

T&G’s early-season apple, Poppi, is the company’s first variety to be harvested in February, followed by Royal Gala, Jazz and Envy over the coming months.

“Thanks to its early ripening qualities, Poppi is one of the first New Zealand apple brands of the season to arrive in our highly competitive Asian markets,” said Betty.

Labour and logistics challenges loom large for the New Zealand apple season, and T&G said it is taking a proactive approach to managing the issues as best it can.

“Without a doubt it’s going to be a tough season given New Zealand’s tight labour market, the absence of working holiday visa workers, continuing global supply chain challenges, and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 across the country and globe,” Betty explained.

“Across the country, we’re recruiting extensively to bring in much needed additional team members to help minimise the shortages we’re facing.

“We have business continuity plans in place across our supply chain and are continually monitoring the situation so we can move quickly to navigate and minimise the challenges which may come our way."

 

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

Author: John Hey

USDA to purchase $30M in U.S. table grapes in 2022

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase U.S.-grown table grapes as part of its 2022 Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP).

The USDA recently announced its commitment of $30 million to purchase U.S.-grown table grapes in 2022 for distribution to food banks and other food programs around the country.

Purchases will be made June through December, a timeframe during which California-grown table grapes dominate U.S. production. The award, which came as a result of a formal request made by the California Table Grape Commission, will mark the third year in a row that table grapes have been included in the federal food purchasing program.

Table grape shippers interested in participating in the FPDP must apply to become a USDA vendor and then, if approved, submit bids in a competitive process. Growers must undergo and pass the USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits.

GAP focuses on farm review and field harvesting/packing activities while GHP covers packinghouses, cold storage, and transportation.

The USDA award announcement comes as planning for the 2022 California table grape season gets underway and meetings with retailers are scheduled. Part of planning for the season includes knowing what commitments are already made for the upcoming crop.

 

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com/

Avocados From Mexico launches digital experience for the Big Game

Avocados From Mexico has launched a multifaceted campaign designed to engage consumers and make avocados shippable at every touchpoint during the biggest avocado occasion of the year.

From the "House of Goodness" digital experience to in-store QR codes that drive directly to the brand's website and a new partnership with eCommerce Acceleration platform MikMak, AFM's 2022 Big Game campaign will link brand awareness and sales "like never before".

AFM has built its brand around this occasion, and recently announced its return as a Big Game advertiser with a 30-second spot.

"We've built the AFM brand on a foundation of innovation – now, we're back in the Big Game with not only an ad but another innovative, fully integrated campaign," said Alvaro Luque, President and CEO of Avocados From Mexico.

Click here to read more

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com/

 

 

 

Australian citrus gains greater access to US

 USDA expands authorised production areas to include Queensland, Western Australia, and New South Wales

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the production areas in Australia authorised to export fresh citrus to the US.

Under current measures, only citrus grown in Riverina (NSW), the Riverland (SA), and Sunraysia (VIC) can be exported to the US.

The three additional regions APHIS will authorise include Queensland, Western Australia, and the shires of Bourke and Narromine within New South Wales.

APHIS is also revising the conditions under which citrus from Australia can be imported. APHIS scientists prepared a pest risk assessment (PRA) and a commodity import evaluation document (CIED). The CIED identified the phytosanitary measures that could be applied to ensure citrus fruit from new areas of Australia can be safely imported without increasing the risk of introducing pests.

As such, citrus from the expanded areas must either originate from an approved production area that is free of Queensland fruit fly, Mediterranean fruit fly, and/or Lesser Queensland fruit fly, or be treated with cold treatment or other approved treatment.

An operational work plan that details the requirements under which citrus will be safely imported must also be put in place.

Furthermore, all citrus must be washed, brushed, surface disinfected in accordance with treatment schedules listed in the PPQ Treatment Manual, treated with fungicide at labelled rates, and waxed at packhouses. Imported fruit will be subject to inspection at the port of entry into the US.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/

Author: Chris Komorek

Latest IAN ( Industry Advice Notice) advice from DAWR

Latest Department of Agriculture advice notices are as follows:

2021-47: Horticulture – Applications for the export of Mainland apples and pears to Thailand

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-47

2021-48: Horticulture – Horticulture – Citrus packhouse applications for exports to protocol markets in 2022

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-48

2021-51: Plant Exports Management System – Communications workflow coming in late October

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-51

2021-52: Plant Export Operations – Food establishment registration requirements for products exported to China

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-52 

Indonesia renews CRA with Australia

Country Recognition Agreement renewal arrives three days prior to expiry, providing relief to Australia’s citrus exporters

Australia’s Country Recognition Agreement (CRA) with Indonesia, which recognises Australia’s food safety systems for fresh food of plant origin, has officially been renewed.

Due to expire on 27 April 2021, the renewal provides relief for a number of Australian exporters, most notably citrus, with one exporter set to send its first shipment of the season in the coming week.

The negotiations between Australia and Indonesia were lengthy and faced a number of concerning delays, some believed to be stemming from Covid-19. Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) submitted an application to renew its CRA with Indonesia on 16 October 2020.

Subsequent information requested by Indonesia was then provided in November 2020 and March 2021, with DAWE adding that Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) had advised an outcome was to be expected before 26 April 2021.

Despite the reassurances provided by Indonesia’s MoA, some Australian exporters remained sceptical the CRA would be renewed in time, given South Africa and Argentina’s CRA with Indonesia had expired due to similar delays in their renewal process.

In 2019/20, Australia exported over 33,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables to Indonesia, valued at over A$82m.

In a written statement, DAWE said it had sought MoA’s agreement to “establish transitional arrangements to allow trade to continue under the current CRA, should it expire prior to finalising the renewed agreement.”

Neil Barker, managing director of exporter BGP International, praised both George Hughes and Australia’s federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, for their efforts in securing the CRA renewal.

“George at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, together with Minister Littleproud must be thanked for supporting Australian farmers in achieving a renewal of the CRA,” said Barker.

“The support given by Indonesian Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, is a wonderful example of the close co-operation existing between Indonesia and Australia,” he added.

Andréa Magiafoglou, chief executive of the Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHIEA), said Indonesia is a valued and significant trading partner for Australian exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables.

"We welcome the opportunity to expand our relationships within Indonesia and continue exporting under this agreement which recognises Australia’s robust food safety systems," said Magiafoglou.

Each CRA is valid for three years following its renewal.

 

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

Author: Chris Komorek

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 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

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

 

China hits back with tariffs

Following a recent increase to 25 per cent on Chinese goods to the US, China has retaliated against US imports
China has retaliated to a tariff increase from the US made last Friday 9 May, following a lag in agreement to level-out overall trade between the two nations.

Tariffs on around US$60bn of goods imported from the US to China will now be impacted. These do not include fresh fruits and vegetables but impact a number of processed fruit items and agricultural products, and add to the overall trade tension.

China’s ministry of finance said in a statement that the measures had led to escalation of trade frictions, contrary to the consensus between China and the United States on resolving trade differences through consultations. It said the move has jeopardised the interests of both sides and not met the general expectations of the international community.

The ministry noted that according to national foreign trade law and tariff regulations, the State Council Tariff Commission has decided on 1 June, 2019 tariffs will subsequently increase on imported goods.

There are four separate increases on different listed items. There will be a 25 per cent increase in tariff on 2,493 items; 20 per cent increase on 1,078 items, 10 per cent increase on 947 items, and a 5 per cent increase on 595 items.

A number of frozen fruit and vegetable lines like peas, spinach, berries, nuts, sweet potato and corn are impacted, as well as processing equipment like washing, sorting and grading machinery.

Feeling the strain

The ongoing tariff dispute, now in place for over a year, has made a mark on fresh produce trade between the two nations.

Data analysed by Fresh Intelligence Consulting shows China is becoming less reliant on the US as a supplier of imported fruit. Its main imports by value are cherries, oranges, table grapes and apples.

In 12 months to March 2019 China imported 79,439 tonnes of fresh fruit valued at US$219.3m. That was 47 per cent lower in value terms than in the same period the year prior.

In the first quarter of 2019, orange imports were 80 per cent lower in value compared with the same quarter in 2018, down to 7,500 tonnes from 33,000 tonnes respectively.

Egypt was noted as picking up some of the additional volume with a 10,000 tonne increase in the march quarter of 2019 compared with the year prior.

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer