China

APAL welcomes priority for mainland Australian apples in China

Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) has praised the Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s announcement of a ‘two and two’ agreement with China to prioritize export access for Australian mainland apples, followed by blueberries.

The agreement succeeds the earlier four and four agreement struck in 2006 under which Australia sought access for table grapes, cherries, summerfruit and apples.

Mainland apples will transition to the new agreement and will be discussed alongside China’s bid to seek Australia market access for cherries.

APAL highlighted Tasmanian Tiger Fuji apples were already being exported successfully to the Chinese market.

APAL CEO Phil Turnbull said Australian growers had been waiting patiently since their inclusion in the original agreement in 2006 and were keen to start working with Chinese authorities to bring Australian apples to Chinese consumers

“While every industry wants their fruit to be first in line, we respect the process in place and have waited for our turn. We are pleased to see our position as next in line confirmed,” Turnbull said.

“Export is a key priority for the apple and pear industry. Tasmanian growers are already exporting apples into China and mainland exporters are looking forward to developing protocols to enable them to do so as well,” he said.

“Australia growers are among the world’s best, producing top quality apples in clean, green surroundings with rigorous attention to food standards. Chinese companies are buying into our orchards to source Australian fruit and we know there are plenty of Chinese consumers who would like access to Australian apples.”

The executive highlighted APAL had released its new Apple & Pear Industry Export Development Strategy, which sets the target of exporting 10% of production by 2020.

“We look forward to ensuring that Chinese consumers have the opportunity to be part of that plan,” Turnbull said.

There is no set timeline for when this will occur, but negotiations around access for additional summerfruit varieties are reportedly well advanced and the department is hopeful of an outcome in the near term.

www.freshfruitportal.com

China agreement delivers for Australian horticulture - Media Release

Australia and China transitioning to a new two and two agreement that includes Australian apples and blueberries as future market access priorities

The new agreement will progress market access and support the trade relationship between Australia and China

Australia and China have agreed to new horticulture market access priorities that will allow future exports of Australian blueberries to China. The inclusion of blueberries on the priority list will progress after the existing access priority of mainland apples.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the agreement will improve Australia’s horticultural market access and support the trade relationship between the two countries. “The Coalition Government has worked closely with China to progress our horticulture market access priorities and through the new two and two agreement we are focusing our efforts on access for mainland apples, followed by Australian blueberries,” Minister Joyce said.
“The new agreement will commence following completion of summerfruit protocols under the previous four and four agreement.
“Technical market access negotiations are scientifically complex and do take time, as each country looks to safeguard its national biosecurity interests and food safety standards.”


In 2006, Australia and China agreed to prioritise negotiations by considering each other's top four horticulture market access requests through a ‘four and four’ agreement, which has provided agricultural trade benefits for both countries.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, said the new agreement will build on market access achievements delivered under the previous four and four agreement. “The previous agreement supported access for Australian table grapes, and cherries, with nectarines completed and progress being made on access for other summerfruits—peaches, plums and apricots,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“We currently export blueberries to almost 20 countries and the new agreement provides a significant opportunity for the Australian industry to access another valuable market.
“Identifying and making use of these new opportunities will help support the ongoing productivity and profitability of the Australian blueberry industry.”


Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said China is one of Australia’s most important trading partners and this is welcome news for our blueberry and apple industries, as well as our $9 billion horticulture industry as a whole.
“As a trading nation that has developed to supply food and fibre to global markets, exports underpin our national economy and the profitability of our agriculture sector.”


The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will work closely with the Australian apple and blueberry industries to guide and inform its work in preparing for market access submissions to China.


Fast facts
- Australia’s agricultural exports to China was worth over A$10 billion in calendar year 2016.

- Australia exported A$8.9 million worth of blueberries to all destinations and A$4.4 million to Hong Kong in calendar year 2016.

- In 2006, Australia and China agreed to consider each other's top four horticulture market access requests concurrently through a ‘four and four’ agreement.

- Australian commodities covered under this agreement are table grapes, cherries, summerfruit and apples.

- China market access for Australian cherries was gained in 2013, nectarines in 2016 and access for other summerfruits - peaches, plums and apricots - is currently being negotiated.

- The Coalition Government successfully negotiated market access for Australian blueberries to India in September 2015.

Australian citrus exports climb

Volume and value up over first eight months of the year, with mandarins showing strong growth

An insatiable demand from China has propelled Australian citrus exports to record heights so far this year.

Figures released by industry body Citrus Australia show overall export sales generated A$277.6m until the end of August, a 23 per cent increase compared to the same point of 2016. Export volumes were up 11 per cent year-on-year, at 161,111 tonnes.

Australian mandarins are proving increasingly popular with consumers in offshore markets, with 48,077 tonnes exported as of 31 August. This marks a 23 per cent increase on last year, the highest growth percentage of any citrus category.

On a month-by-month basis, the August exports for mandarins were 20 per cent higher than for the same month in 2016. “At 22,498 tonnes the volume was a record for mandarin exports for any single month,” Citrus Australia said in a statement on their website.

Oranges continue to be Australia’s largest citrus export category by volume, with 110,528 tonnes shipped over the first eight months of 2017 (up 8 per cent on 2016), while ‘other’ citrus came in at 2,507 tonnes (down 37 per cent).

China is now the Australian industry’s biggest export market, with a total of 46,512 tonnes shipped to the People’s Republic so far this year, a figure that already surpasses last year’s total of 39,591 tonnes. Japan (28,214 tonnes), Hong Kong (13,338 tonnes), the US (8,520 tonnes) and Malaysia (7,299 tonnes) rounded out the top five.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com Author: Matthew Jones

Chinese mandarin juice company to grow in Australia

Mandarin juice might not seem like a blue chip investment stock, but former NSW Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, says it is a big deal in China, and getting bigger.

In fact, China’s Bojun Agricultural Holdings is so confident about the growth prospects of its beverage business it wants to plant the special Nanfeng mandarin variety in Australia.

Bojun, is also preparing to float its business on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in November.

It is following the lead of several Chinese-based agricultural companies which have listed on the local market in the past few years to raise cash from local investors and link with Australian farm sector expertise.

Source: queenslandcountrylife.com.au  via www.freshplaza.com 

Publication date: 9/20/2017

China “top of the tree” for blueberry market opportunities

As bullish growth continues for blueberry production around the globe, one market stands out from the rest due to its sheer market potential.

The superfruit is by no means something that would traditionally feature in Chinese consumers’ shopping carts, but many in the industry are hoping to change that.

And in a country that contains around a fifth of the world’s population, that shift looks set to be a major game-changer.

For the first time this year, the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) will hold its annual Summit in China, in what the association’s president Peter McPherson described as a “different angle” for the event.

“I’ve attended every IBO Summit and we continue to raise the bar,” said McPherson, who also heads up the berry category of Australian produce company Costa Group.

“Obviously the government in China has a lot more to say about how the summit itself is run, but we’ve been able to work our way through that.

“I believe the program now is going to present all blueberry growers, suppliers and interested parties around the world with a good overview of not just the Chinese blueberry growing scene but also the world scene over the last 12 months.”

The three-day event will be held in the southern Yunnan Province, where McPherson said the local government has been very supportive of the conference.

“I encourage all blueberry-affiliated people globally to attend,” he said.

“I think it’s a very important conference to learn about what’s happening globally and about the better practices that are coming in. Also, the network opportunities that it represents are second to none.”

McPherson said while every country had its differentiation and challenges, China was unique in one area.

“The big thing about China is the market opportunity. There’s no doubting that it’s at the top of the tree,” he said.

“And the good thing that we’ve found is that the Chinese consumer loves blueberries.”

Local production key to boosting consumption

There are not just opportunities abound for marketing the on-trend fruit, but growing it too.

Costa announced a joint venture with one of the world’s leading berry companies, Driscoll’s, early last year, and McPherson said they would be ramping up their production footprint over the next three to five years.

“We can grow the Australian blueberry genetics that have been sent to China in a window where there is very little competition, and the fact that they are so well-received by consumers gives us a bit of a headstart to really go after that market opportunity,” he said.

“It will probably be the fastest-growing year-on-year production region in the world, albeit from a low base. Who knows? Maybe in 10 years’ time we might be saying it’s one of the biggest.”

Argentinean Blueberry Committee (ABC) president Carlos Stabile said holding the IBO Summit in China was a big step, explaining a lot of work had been involved in making it happen.

“The IBO as a brand has a reputation and we are coming from a very high standard from the last event in Argentina and Uruguay,” he said.

“I think the expectations are very high. I think the congress will show the giant market and the giant industry that China could represent in the future years in the blueberry sector.”

He added developing local production would be a key factor in stimulating consumption growth.

“These big investments that are happening right now are doing exactly that. They are creating the demand, and that demand for blueberries will still be there when the Chinese industry is done at the end of its season,” he said.

Chilean Blueberry Committee president Andrés Armstrong said the information garnered at the event would undoubtedly be of benefit to all those involved with the fruit.

“It’s an opportunity to get to know what’s happening in China – not just from a production point of view, but also the market – and to find better channels to sell our fruit,” he said, highlighting e-commerce as a key area for sales.

Double-digit growth from around the world

Production has been soaring in Australia, where year-on-year volumes increasing at a rate of 15-20%, according to McPherson.

He said the country had now effectively become a 52-week supplier thanks to its range of production locations from northern Queensland to Tasmania. The export sector is now focused on a Japanese market reopening and Chinese market opening, he added.

Morocco is another area seeing a strong uptick in volumes, with the major benefits having very low costs of production and a four-week lead time into the nearby European market in front of Spain.

“The yield factors that we’re able to achieve there are highest of what we get for the Costa genetics anywhere, and the year-on-year volume increases are 20-25%,” he said.

“Traditionally Royal and African Blue have been the main producers, but now a lot of other growers have seen what the capabilities of Morocco are due to its location and climate and are also looking to increase their production footprint in that part of the world.”

Peru recently announced it was expecting to double blueberry production for the second consecutive year this upcoming season, aiming to fill the supply gaps before Chile enters the scene with far higher volumes from November.

The more mature industries in Chile and Argentina are not the expecting significant year-on-year growth seen in the newer production regions, but both Stabile and Armstrong are expecting good seasons on the back of generally favorable weather conditions over recent months.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

The world's shipping companies keep growing

The hulking container ships that transport sneakers, bananas and Barbie dolls around the world keep getting bigger. So are the companies that own them.

A massive consolidation is underway in the $500 billion global industry and the survivors now enjoy big economies of scale and increased demand, one year after excess capacity caused the sector’s worst-ever crisis -- the bankruptcy of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co.

Asia’s largest container line, China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings, last month said it would pay more than $6 billion for rival Orient Overseas International, owner of the world’s biggest vessel - a carrier longer than the Empire State building. Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is in the process of buying a German competitor and boasts its own fleet of mega ships, including one that can carry about 180 million iPads.

These super-sized shipping companies wield much more pricing power over manufacturers and retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. The five biggest container lines control about 60 percent of the global market, according to data provider Alphaliner. Shipping rates are climbing, and an index tracking cargo rates on major routes from Asia is about 22 percent higher than it was a year earlier.

“Container shipping is now a game only for big boys with deep pockets,” said Corrine Png, chief executive officer at Crucial Perspective, a Singapore-based transportation research firm. The rising market concentration will "give the liners greater pricing and bargaining power,” she predicts.

Hanjin’s collapse, in August last year, upended the industry in much the same way that the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers roiled the financial sector during the 2008 crisis. One of the world’s largest shipping firms at the time, Hanjin faced a cash crunch as supply outstripped demand in the industry, weakening pricing power and profits for carriers. It is now in the process of being liquidated after a South Korean court declared it bankrupt in February.

“Since the demise of Hanjin Shipping, flight to quality has become more noticeable in the container shipping business,” said Um Kyung-a, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co. in Seoul. “That’s why the market is becoming more and more dominated by top players with big ships and those that don’t have could become more and more obsolete.”

The growing use of mammoth ships is key to the turnaround. Companies who own them are able to deploy fewer vessels and move more cargo on a single journey to benefit from higher rates, said Um.

By her estimates, there are now about 58 of these huge carriers worldwide that can transport more than 18,000 containers, and the number is expected to double in two years. About half the new vessels will be added by the biggest firms.

Higher Demand
The excess supply that derailed growth last year hasn’t completely disappeared as new entrants expand and as older vessels still remain. Capacity in the container shipping industry is expected to grow 3.4 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2018, according to Crucial Perspective.

Still, recovery in demand seems to be on track. After posting losses in 2016, companies are seeing signs of business picking up. A.P. Moller-Maersk, which owns the world’s biggest container shipping business, said in May that it has seen strong demand toward the end of the first quarter. Cosco said earlier this month that as conditions improve it expects to report a first-half profit of about 1.85 billion yuan ($276 million), compared with a loss a year ago.

“We forecast global demand growth to outpace supply growth in 2017-2019,” Hong Kong-based analyst Andrew Lee at Jefferies Group LLC said in a note last month.

Holiday Season
Earlier this year, Maersk, South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. and other shipping lines reached agreements with their customers to raise annual rates from May for cargo headed from Asia to U.S. stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Retailers in the U.S. usually increase inventory during the third quarter, ahead of the year-end holidays, and Lee said freight rates are expected to rise further as the peak season for the container shipping industry kicks off.

For retailers, “if container costs go higher, obviously it’s a headwind," said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones. "Retailers have three choices: They can pass that through to the customer or find efficiencies to offset that within the organization, or they come out and say gross margins will be pressured due to higher freight costs.”

Big Shipping Deals
In 2015, Cosco Group and China Shipping Group announced a merger to create Asia’s biggest container line, Cosco Shipping Holdings Co.
In 2016, CMA CGM SA bought Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines Ltd.; Maersk agreed to buy Hamburg Süd and Japan’s three shipping companies agreed to consolidate their container shipping businesses.
In 2017, Hapag-Lloyd AG completed its acquisition of United Arab Shipping Co. and Cosco Shipping offered to buy Orient Overseas International of Hong Kong.


Source: www.bloomberg.com  via www.freshplaza.com 

Publication date: 8/21/2017

 

USDA forecasts rebound for Australian cherries in 2017-18

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has forecast a 60% rise in Australian cherry production in 2017-18 along with a doubling of exports, bouncing back from the effects of poor weather conditions last season.

In its recent “Stone Fruit Annual” report for Australia, the FAS’ Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reported the nation’s cherry volume could reach 16,000 metric tons (MT), while exports may hit 5,000MT.

“The domestic market has traditionally accounted for over two thirds of production, but exports provide higher returns for growers. A 2016 survey found that the average domestic cherry price for growers was A$7.00 for the domestic market and A$17.00 for exports,” the report said.

“Almost all cherries are exported in the three months from November. Immediately after harvest cherries are hydro-cooled and packed into 2 kilogram and 5 kilogram cartons designed to meet market protocols.”

The report highlighted the importance of Tasmania on the export front, given it is internationally accepted as a fruit fly-free area with significant market access advantages into various countries.

“As a result, Tasmanian cherries do not need to be fumigated and can more easily reach export markets such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” the FAS said.

“Hong Kong has been the major export market for Australian cherries partly as it does not require stringent import protocols for biosecurity.

“In recent years, Hong Kong and China have accounted for around half of Australian cherry exports, with the latter market increasing its relative significance as more direct exports occur under new import protocols.”

The report added Australia’s imports of cherries – mainly from the United States – fell to 2,200MT in 2016-17, but were forecast to recover to 2,700MT in 2017-18.

“Almost all cherry imports into Australia are from the United States and from California in particular,” the report said.

“They are mostly marketed from July to September and therefore do not compete directly with Australian grown cherries but provide consumers with a more continuous supply of fruit through the year.

“Australian cherry exports to the United States market are possible under an existing biosecurity protocol
but are not commercially viable due to airfreight costs.”

www.freshfruitportal.com

High demand for AU blueberries in China

According to the China's Market for Australian Blueberries: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity report, blueberries will become the fastest growing fruit category in China.

The report claimed higher incomes coupled with recognition of the berries nutritional values have led to an increased demand for blueberries in China.

International Blueberry Organisation president Peter McPherson said Australian berries were particularly high in demand because of their quality.

"There is a market window there in our peak season between September and November each year that we believe our blueberries will be the premium blueberries in that country," Mr McPherson said.

He said there was a "political" roadblock which has applied the brakes on Chinese export deals.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Luke Hartsuyker said trade deals took years to finalise.

"The average time for product entry is nine years," Mr Hartsuyker said.

He said the Federal Government had put "a lot of effort in" negotiating with Chinese counterparts and the blueberry industry. He said every producer wanted their product at the top of the priority list which has been filled by nectarines, apples and stone fruit.

"This is a massive market. We're talking about millions and millions of potential blueberry customers and we can't sell them a single blueberry at the moment," said Minister for Trade Jason Clare.

He said this deal would create more jobs for the Mid North Coast.

Costa's domestic berry general manager David Jordan said the industry employed about 2000 people on a permanent basis in NSW. This figure rose to about 6,500 during peak season.

Source: www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au via www.freshplaza.com 

Publication date: 8/8/2017

Chinese pear production volume stable - Exports mainly to go to high end markets

"This year, the production season of crown pears will start on 15 July, and will most likely last until the end of August. The export of Ya pears starts at the beginning of August, and ends at the end of September. Nationwide, the pear production volume is rather stable. It is 5% higher than last year. This is mainly because of the extreme weather last year, leaving the pears without enough light. This season's export volume and export price are difficult to predict, but it will probably be the same as last year," states Ms. Liu from Hebei Jinzhou Great Wall Economy and Trade.

"We have a pear plantation of 1000 hectares (10,000 mu) and an apple plantation of 80 hectares (800 mu) in Hebei. We mainly produce Ya pears, crown pears and Feng Shui pears. We sell our produce under our own registered brands, such as 'Great Wall' and 'Fresh'. 40% of our pears we sell through traditional sales channels to distributors in first and second tier cities in China, such as Beijing Xinfadi and Guangzhou Jiangnan Fruit, and supermarkets in the Shijiazhuang area. The other 60% is exported through the Tianjin New Harbour and the Huangdao Port in Qingdao to middle and low end markets in South-East Asia, and middle and high end markets in America, Canada, Australia and Europe."

"In the past few years, our export market has been shifting gradually from the low and middle end market to the high end market. The demand for high quality Chinese pears from high end markets, such as America and Europe, has made us see a large business opportunity and a market gap that we can fill. Simultaneously, high end markets only accept pears that reach certain qualitylevels, so that leaves a high demand for our high quality pears. This has influenced our export volume, and especially to the Dutch market, where the acceptance is extremely low."

"Before the start of this year's season, we had already set the standards for agricultural waste, and we have strict controls in the production process. This will guarantee that our pears meet the export requirements. As an agricultural export company with a great reputation and a stable product quality, we hope to be able to export more pears to the Netherlands, so that even more foreign consumers can taste our special Chinese pears."

Gavin Fan
Hebei Jinzhou Great Wall Economy Trade Co., Ltd.
In short: Great Wall Fruits
www.greatwallfruit.com
P: +86 311 67503608 |M: +86 13582133039
Wechat:13582133039 / Skype: greatwall_fan
Email: gavin.fan@greatwallfruit.com

Publication date: 7/13/2017

Souce: www.freshplaza.com

Image: Flickr_komubert

"There is a huge demand for the Empress mandarins in China"

The demand for Australian produce is incredible and according to Jordan Bain from Pinnacle Fresh, citrus volumes sent from Australia this year are probably going to be up on last year's.

"There is a huge demand for the Empress mandarin in China, it is one of the first mandarins to hit the market and volumes are still limited," explains Jordan. The variety will be marketed by Pinnacle Fresh, Jordan said the farm is still recovering from flood damage from a few years ago and it will be 2-4 years before they are in full production. There has also been significant work and investment on the cleaning of the budwood to ensure the variety is given the very best attention it deserves.

Empress mandarins are a deep orange colour, very nice smooth skin and although not easy peelers, they are easier to peel than other mandarins. They are also know for there exceptional eating quality.

Pinnacle Fresh supplies mainly the wholesale markets in China, sending to Shanghai and Gaungzhou. "We don't have enough volume to supply the other markets, but from these two the mandarins find their way further into China and to the 2nd tier cities. The Chinese market has really changed in the last 5 years, before that imported products really only reached the coastal fringes. In the last few years demand has increased greatly and Australian citrus has gone through a really good time. There is a big demand for all types of citrus in China."

Pinnacle Fresh has been supplying the Chinese market for 5 years, and are reasonably established with receivers there. "We are not a huge player in China and don't want to be. We want to be a leader in in terms of new varietals in the market, they must eat well and be sweet to win over the Chinese consumer," explains Jordan. "It only takes 4-5 containers of bad oranges to kill the market and it can take weeks to repair the damage. We have seen that this season with grape exports."

Jordan said they are working with growers to develop new varieties for the Chinese market. "In the US there is a lot of focus on varieties which are disease resistant due the problems with citrus greening, but we are lucky that here in Australia we can concentrate on other new varieties with other properties."

Pinnacle supply the US market as well as China, around a 50/50 split and in order to supply customers year round they import and export a lot of produce and have offices in Melbourne and California. The company trades many different products but the main ones are citrus, grapes and cherries.

Whereas in China the wholesale markets are the trading ground, in the US it is the retailers, "In the US you can control the supply chain, in China it is a bit different."

For more information:
Jordan Bain
Pinnacle Fresh
Tel: +61 3 9369 0492
Cell: +61 438 650 833
Email: jordan@pinnaclefresh.com.au
www.pinnaclefresh.com.au/

Publication date: 7/12/2017
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Image: Pixabay_Alexas_photas

Japanese sweet potato varieties in demand in China

"Every year, Hainan sweet potatoes are planted in August. The crop is ready for harvest around the Spring Festival, which is considerably earlier than sweet potatoes from Northern China. The supply generally last until the middle of June. Our early availability is giving us a competitive advantage compared to other production regions," explains Mr. Wu Fengyao from the Dongfang Fengzaibao Sweet Potato Farmers Cooperative.

"The cold weather that occurred earlier this year affected the growth of sweet potatoes across China. Hainan, fortunately, has been less impacted by this weather. Our output has decreased 10-20% compared with last year. Currently, our sweet potato season nearing its ends. Our sales have almost doubled and our market reach grew."

"The cooperative was founded in 2009. We have registered our  brand under the name Gandi Yuan. We grow sweet potatoes on 65 hectares. We will add an additional 35 hectares this summer. Half of these bases will be used for planting Qingxiang sweet potatoes, a Chinese variety, and the other half will be used for Japanese sweet potatoes."

"The main variety we grow is the Japanese sweet potato. We purchased a small volume of seedlings from a Japanese company located in Hainan province. In addition, we purchased large amounts of Chinese sweet potatoes seeds from two local scientific research institutions. Compared with Chinese sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes are sweeter and tastier."

"At this stage, our sweet potatoes are mainly sold through the traditional way of selling to domestic cities, such as Shanghai city, Jiangsu and Zhejiang province. We use a combination of organic manure and organic fertilizers. This year we plan to build our own packaging factory. We have no in-house transportation services and we cooperate with external logistics companies. "

Wu Fengyao
Dongfang City FengZai Bao Sweet Potato Farmer Cooperatives 
Tel: +86 13807660393
E-mail: 1029432693@qq.com

Source article: http://www.freshplaza.com

Date published: 10 June 

Government announces Australian cherries can now be air-freighted to China

China is ripe for the picking for Australian cherry producers.

The Federal Government last week announced it had struck a deal to allow fresh cherries from Australia’s mainland to be air-freighted there.

The move, announced as part of market access reforms that will also see Australian peaches, plums and apricots gain access to the lucrative Chinese market, is considered a major win for the industry.

The changes to fumigation requirements mean cherries from mainland Australia can potentially be on Chinese supermarket shelves within 48 to 72 hours of harvest.

While Australian cherries have had access to China since 2013, only Tasmanian cherries were able to be air-freighted due to fruit-fly concerns. Cherries from other states were required to undergo a fumigation process while being shipped by sea, which took about 21 days.

Stephen Riseborough, of Cherryhill Orchards at Coldstream in the Yarra Valley, said last week’s announcement was well timed with the start of the cherry season.

Cherryhill sells most of its cherries through Coles, Woolworths and Costco, as well as the Melbourne Wholesale Market, but sees massive potential for exports, which currently make up about 15 per cent of business.

“China is a gigantic market,” Mr Riseborough said. “There’s still a lot of logistical factors to get it right. I don’t think exports will go berserk to start with, but it’s a case of taking it slowly and working with our customers to make it work.”

Cherryhill started picking cherries a fortnight ago on its 162ha orchard at Cobram in northern Victoria. It also has orchards in the Yarra Valley, the Strathbogie Ranges, at Tolmie, near Mansfield. and at Orange in NSW.

Mr Riseborough said Cherryhill’s cherry season was expected to run until late February. Victoria expects a medium-volume crop, while Tasmania and South Australia should have good yields.

Traditionally, Victoria is Australia’s biggest cherry producer, followed by NSW and Tasmania.

Source: weeklytimesnow.com.au via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 11/17/2017