Free of Listeria - Qatar lab results clear Australian rock melon

The Ministry of Public Health in Doha announced that the analyses of Australian rock melons, which were previously withdrawn from the market, showed that the fruit is free of listeria and any other types of bacteria such as salmonella and escherichia coli.

After receiving a notification that Australian rock melons might be contaminated with listeria, the Ministry detained the next shipment. It has also taken precautionary measures to prevent importing new shipments of rock melons suspected of being unsafe.

According to, the Ministry has stated that it is working with all other stakeholders to ensure the highest standards of food safety are implemented.

Publication date: 3/6/2018








Italy: Kiwi producers worried in Lazio and Romagna

It's still too early to assess the damage, but the Latina area was hit quite hard after the frost of 2017. The situation is worrying in Emilia-Romagna as well, while Piedmont and Veneto seem to be doing better. Luckily temperatures under plastic films have remained higher.

Giampaolo Dal Pane, President of Consorzio Dorì Europe, stresses that "it's essential to cover crops with anti-rain nets. It's better to have a couple of hectares less but to cover the rest. On 28th February, the temperature in cover-less crops in a Latina company dropped to -7.5°C, while that in a covered one only reached -4°C. The same happened in Romagna: -10°C outside and -6°C under nets."

"We'll need to make an assessment, but things are not looking good. The frost may have damaged bark as well, making it easier for the Psa bacteria to penetrate."

There is no great difference between the sensitivity to frost of green and yellow varieties, except for the fact that yellow kiwis are usually earlier. Latina hadn't seen such low temperatures for decades. An 8-hectare orchard in Aprilia was destroyed as the supporting structure of the nets collapsed under the weight of the snow.

In the Ravenna province, the temperature dropped to -10°C. Some left their fans on all night long, but it's still unsure whether they work with such a widespread cold front.

And it's useless mentioning insurances, as they don't cover this period.

Publication date: 3/5/2018


Qatar: Ministry warns against sweet melon

The Qatar Ministry of Public Health has warned against consumption of sweet melon imported from New Zealand and Australia as the fruit is suspected to be contaminated with listeria bacteria.

In Australia, growers and retailers met in “crisis talks” last week as Australian public health authorities urged consumers to throw away sweet melons because of an ongoing Listeria outbreak.

Two people have died in Australia, where the outbreak is linked to a grower in Nericon, New South Wales. Ten people across three states are known to have been infected, including the two who died.

In Qatar itself, according to, it was found that a limited quantity of the suspected fruit was distributed at some outlets on Thursday. The fruit has been withdrawn from the shelves.

The ministry seized the fruit with help of suppliers and outlets. Samples have been taken for laboratory test. The ministry has urged the consumers to return the fruit; if it is consumed and there are any of the following symptoms: high temperature, indigestion or vomiting, consumers should visit a health centre.

Publication date: 3/5/2018

Australia ready to accept Vietnamese longan imports in 2019

Australia has reviewed the cultivation, processing and packaging of longans in Vietnam, and they look tasty, so they may grant an import license for the fruit next year. So after lychees, mangoes and dragon fruit, longans could be Vietnam’s fourth fruit to gain access to the Australian market, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Last month, a team from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources visited Vietnam to review and assess the plantation, processing and packaging of longans in the provinces of Ben Tre and Hung Yen, the country’s biggest producers. And the team said Vietnamese longans may be licensed to enter its market from 2019.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will make an assessment and draw up a draft regulation for imports of the fruit. Vietnam's total fruit and vegetable exports hit $604 million in the first two months of this year, marking a jump of 43.4 percent year-on-year and leaving other key agricultural exports far behind.

An article by reports how a growing appetite among foreign consumers for Vietnamese fruit is expected to reduce the country’s reliance on China, which accounted for 70 percent of Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports in 2016. Local fruits are now exported to 60 countries and territories.

Publication date: 3/2/2018


Fruitday launches supply chain service

Chinese fresh food e-tailer provides supply chain solutions to fresh fruit companies

As demand for supply chain services continues to grow in China’s fresh fruit trade, Freshbridge, a new supply chain company dedicated to the industry, was recently established in Shanghai. One of the companies behind the new business is Fruitday, a leading Chinese fresh food e-tailer.

“As a leader and pioneer in China’s fresh fruit e-commerce sector, we have a deep understanding of the market,” said Loren Zhao, Fruitday co-founder, who also will be heading the new company. “We believe the future of fruit trading will rely on the integration of information, logistics and capital flow.”

Freshbridge aims to bring such integration through its wide range of supply chain solutions, which include sorting, packaging, ripening and deep processing, as well as wholesale, storage and logistics services. The company is positioning itself as the bridge that links growers, marketers and retailers online and offline, bringing them closer together than ever before.

According to the company, Freshbridge has recently formed a strategic partnership with Shanghai Longwu Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market. The two parties will work together in import, customs clearance, repackaging, storage, trade and logistics, and hope to become a one-stop solution provider for fresh fruit businesses.

Philippine government to support banana exports to Australia

The Department of Agriculture has promised to help facilitate the entry of Philippine bananas onto the Australian market, which has been closed to Filipino exporters for more than two decades. Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said he would be willing to broker a meeting between Filipino banana exporters belonging to the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association and Australian officials. quoted him as saying: “The possible reopening of the Australian market is a welcome development for us and for me. I find it unfair that the Philippines buy beef and other meat products from Australia, when our local products could not enter their market.”

The Filipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association has certainly showed its interest to export bananas to Australia after that nation’s ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely, said Canberra is willing to cooperate. During a BusinessMirror Coffee Club forum last month, Gorely said her government is willing to assist exporters comply with the Australian animal health and plant regulations so they can again access the Australian market. However, she added that no Philippine exporter has approached Canberra, signifying an interest to ship bananas to Australia.

Gorely claims that Filipino exporters prioritize Asian markets such as Japan and South Korea, where they have a bigger share compared to Australia where banana production is sufficient to meet domestic demand.

In 2002, Manila filed a complaint against Australia at the World Trade Organization for its de facto ban on Philippine bananas. Manila argued that Philippine bananas were no threat to Australian bananas because they were not intended to fulfil Australia’s entire demand. To date, the dispute has yet to be resolved.

Publication date: 2/27/2018


iFresh expo - 2018

iFresh Expo to be held on 13th-15th Nov 2018 in Shanghai New International Expo Centre.It will be held together with FHC, 22th Shanghai International Food and Beverage Exhibition, the exhibition areas will exceed 110,000 square meters, the professional visitors expected to reach 100,000.


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Chinese consumers like large, dark colored cherries

In recent years the diet of the Chinese consumer has quietly changed. More and more people choose organic and imported food. They even choose these products as gifts for family and friends. "Chinese people like cherries to be purple and turning darker. They think that the darker the cherry, the better it is; and the larger the cherry, the better it is. Chileans, however, prefer the cheaper, smaller cherries," said Hernan Garces, the chairman of the board and president of Agricola Garces, the largest cherry producer and exporter in Chile. "The cherry that meets all the requirements of Chinese consumers will have a long, dark green stem. It will have a high sugar content and firm fruit flesh. Its color will be between 'red brown' and 'dark brown'. And the fruit will measure between 28 mm and 30 mm in diameter."

"We have established an office in Shanghai, so we can be close to our customers. Our e-commerce business is developing at a rapid pace and creates a snowball effect. We have to plant cherries with even higher quality, even larger diameters, and even darker colors, because that is what the Chinese consumer desires," said Hernan Garces.

Chile is the largest supplier of fresh fruit to China. It is also the number one supplier of cherries for Chinese import. According to statistical data from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association the cherry export volume from Chile to China increased greatly between the cherry seasons of 2017 and 2018. It already exceeds 125 thousand tons, which is a historical record. Chairman of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, Ronald Bown, said that 83.75% of this year's Chilean cherry production will go to China.

Source: via

Publication date: 2/21/2018

Vietnamese products enter Australia

Although Vietnamese fruits have been exported to dozens of global markets, including the EU and the US, it does not mean they can easily penetrate into the Australian market; this country requires a risk assessment process that could last several years.

The greatest challenge is Vietnam’s limited health inspection and the post-harvest storage capacity. Directly entrusted with the task of promoting fruit exports by the Prime Minister, Vietnamese Ambassador Luong Thanh Nghi had multiple meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Vietnamese trade mission in Australia. According to, when former PM Nguyen Tan Dung visited Australia in 2015, he also asked Australia to allow Vietnamese fruit exports into the country.

Good news arrived when the Australian Agriculture Ministry officially allowed the imports of fresh lychees from Vietnam. A few weeks later, the first lychee shipments from the growing regions of Luc Ngan and Thanh Ha arrived in Sydney and Melbourne.

After lychees, mangoes were also given a passport to Australia after seven years of negotiation. And recently the dragon fruit has also been accepted. With valuable lessons from lychee negotiations, later negotiations are expected to be increasingly streamlined, opening the way for passion fruits, star apples, longans, and rambutan.

Publication date: 2/20/2018


Indonesia: Mangoes & dragon fruit to enter Australian market

During the 21st meeting of the Working Group on Agriculture, Food and Forestry Cooperation (WGAFFC) between Australia and Indonesia - held in Melbourne from Feb. 14 to 15 - it was agreed that Indonesia will soon start exporting mangoes and dragon fruit to Australia.

Acording to an article by, the head of the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry’s Agriculture Quarantine Agency, Banun Harpini, said Australia had agreed to irradiate the fruit to assure the products would meet Australian standards.

“We will start exporting mangoes of the upcoming harvest season to Australia in October,” said Banun. Exports of dragon fruit could start in the middle of this year.

Meanwhile, Louise Van Meurs of Australia’s Agricultural and Water Resources Department demanded that Indonesia accept imports of seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria, which Indonesia agreed to during this meeting.

However, Australian dragon fruit growers struggling to stay afloat have criticised the Federal Government for what they said is complete ignorance of the negative fallout from trade deals.

Marcus Karlsson, a farmer in the Northern Territory and his family were the first in the country to start producing dragon fruits. He labelled this season as the worst he ever experienced. A trade protocol signed with Vietnam last year allowed dragon fruit to be imported, in direct competition with local growers. "It 's dragged the price down."

He said other farmers are also suffering, including nearby grower James Vong Nguyen from Harvest Hill Orchard at Humpty Doo. He purchased his property only three years ago and was now desperately worried about how he and his wife will make money. "We lost about $80-100,000 in the last six months," Mr Vong Nguyen said.

Publication date: 2/16/2018

More than just chat—Australia sprouts new market for seed potatoes

Seed potato producers in Victoria and South Australia have market access to Indonesia.
• The protocol was signed at a bilateral forum in Melbourne yesterday.
• Only Western Australian seed potatoes previously had access, and Victoria and South Australia are major seed potato producers.

More than 300 seed potato farmers across South Australia and Victoria will be celebrating after today’s breakthrough in securing new market access to Indonesia.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said delivering this market access would provide opportunities for seed potato farmers to now compete in premium markets with the best produce the world has to offer.

“Agricultural trade is a priority for the Coalition Government and we are delivering, not just sitting around like couch potatoes on this issue,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The export protocol has been on the boil for a while and today we finally got it over the line - this will take an industry with a current production value of $520.3 million, to new heights.

“Today’s signing paves the way for trade in seed potatoes from Victoria and South Australia to commence as soon as possible, whenever farmers are ready.

“This is a fantastic result for farmers in these two states—as major seed potato producers—and builds on current seed potato access for Western Australia.

“Australia and Indonesia have a strong bilateral partnership, with two-way trade worth $4.28 billion in 2016-17 in agriculture alone.

“Australia is a trading nation and we continue to support our farmers as they sell our premium produce for premium prices to overseas markets.”

The Coalition Government has secured free-trade agreements with three significant export markets—Japan, Korea and China—and just signed the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement and recently concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

• Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, we are investing $30.8 million to break down technical barriers to trade, and appointed five new agricultural counsellors in key small markets.
• In the agriculture portfolio since January 2016, we have had 64 key market access gains or restorations, along with 57 key market access improvements or actions to maintain market access.
Megan Dempsey
Assistant Media Adviser
Office of the Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
P 02 6277 7630 M: 0491 222 306 E:

China's cherry imports increase 13% on last year

The Chinese import of cherries has increased hugely as a result of a worldwide increase in cherry production volumes and an increase of living standards in China. The season in which cherries from the southern hemisphere mature fortunately coincides with the Chinese Spring Festival. In recent years the imported cherries from Chile, New Zealand, and Australia have become fine-quality products that many Chinese give as seasonal gifts or enjoy for themselves.

Shanghai is one of China's most important ports for the import of cherries. The cherries allowed to access China mainly come from the United States, Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Statistical reports from the Shanghai Office for Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine show that Shanghai port imported nearly 30 thousand tons of cherries.

Although each individual country has reduced cherry production, the overall import volume of China still increased with 13.1% compared to the previous year. Between November and December 2017, Shanghai imported 3,000 tons of air freighted cherries, which is an increase of 20% compared to the same period in the previous year and set a historical record.

Source: via 

Publication date: 2/14/2018