Vietnam: Dragon fruit to be exported to Australia, Japan

In the near future Vietnam expects to export dragon fruit to both Australia and Japan. Recently, experts from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have been on fact-finding tours of Vietnamese provinces to evaluate their dragon fruit production, packaging and exports. According to experts, once a product is allowed to enter the Australian market, doors would open for it in other markets too.

The visit was one of the final steps before Australia opened its market to fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam, according to the Plant Protection Department.
 
The Australian Government would release a draft report on the evaluation outcomes at the end of this year for stakeholders’ benefit, and possibly allow the import of Vietnamese white and red dragon fruits by the end of this year or early next year, it said.
 
It has also worked with Japanese authorities and Vietnamese fresh dragon fruits could be exported to that country in the near future, it said.
 
Fruit exports to several demanding markets had increases in 2016, it said, with exporters shipping more than 4,608 tonnes to the US, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 81 per cent.
 
Australia market
 
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, Australia imports fruits and vegetables worth US$1.7-2 billion from other countries.
 
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, total exports to Australia were worth over $1.3 billion this year, with fruits and vegetables accounting for a mere $10.3 million.
 
Explaining why the exports of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to Australia remain modest, experts pointed to the stringent quarantine system there.
 
Read more at vietnamnews.vn.

Publication date: 7/22/2016

 

USDA provides export forecasts for Chilean table grapes, pome fruit

The USDA has forecast Chilean table grape exports to rise significantly in the upcoming season, while apples are expected to remain flat and pears will likely see a decline.

Table grapes
In its Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual report for Chile, the USDA said it expects table grape exports from the Latin American country to rise by 23 percent year-on-year to 645,000 metric tons (MT).

"This estimate assumes production will bounce back after the setback caused by the rainfall in January 2021," it said.

Chilean table grape exports decreased by 13 percent in volume last season to 525,419, while the value of exports dropped by 11 percent to $826 million.

Total table grape production is expected to increase by a similar level to exports to reach 805,000MT. The rebound in production is associated with increased production from new varieties planted in recent years and a return to more normalized climatic conditions.

The United States remains the main market for Chilean table grape exports accounting for 49 percent of Chilean table grape exports. In 2020-21, table grape exports to the United States totaled 254,811 MT an 8 percent decrease over 2019/20.

China is the second market for Chilean table grape exports, totaling 78,117 MT in 2020-21 a 30.1 percent decline over 2019-20. This decline is attributed to the quality of the fruit that was damaged by rainfall. Much of this product was not good enough to travel from Chile to a distant market like China and arrive with the required firmness and overall quality.

Pome fruit
Chilean apple exports are expected to reach 637000MT next year, nearly unchanged from the previous season.

The USDA says the forecast follows the current production trend closely. In 2020-21 (data until August), Chilean apple exports totaled 546,193 MT, a 3.7 percent decrease from 2019-20.

For 2021-22, it estimates apple planted area to remain flat at 32,300 hectares.

"Producers are renewing current apple orchards with new varieties, but planted area is not increasing significantly due to competition from other fruit crops that are more profitable," it said.

"Some of the new apple varieties in Chile are Brookfield Gala, Pink Lady, Rosy Glow, Ambrosia, Modi, and Buckeye."

Apple production in 2021-22 is expected to remain flat and total 1,090,000MT since planted area is projected to remain unchanged.

The USDA bases this projection considering the drought problems that Chile is facing in the apple production regions and assuming no unexpected meteorological events.

Pear exports are set to decrease by 7 percent to 112,000 due to the decrease in pear planted area and lower anticipated production volume.

"In 2020-21 (data until August) Chile increased exports by 6.8 percent, totaling 114,915 MT," it said. "This increase in exports was due to the increase in pear production and because Chile was able to position pears in foreign markets, despite the difficulties in commercialization that come from consumer preferences."

In 2020-21, planted area is projected to decrease to 6,700 ha, following the reduction trend observed since MY2017-18.

The USDA projects Chile’s 2021-22 fresh pear production to decrease by 6.9 percent and total 217,000 MT.

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

 

Avocados dumped amid glut in domestic supply and imports from overseas

West Australian avocado growers are dumping fruit because it's not worth the cost of packing and sending it to market.

Avocado prices have plummeted to just $18 a tray on the back of a massive national crop and a record production year in WA, which has led to an oversupply of product.

Slow sales into Sydney and Melbourne – WA's key domestic markets – have added to downward price pressures after lockdowns shuttered the food service industry for months.

Grower Vic Grozotis says he's been forced to discard perfectly good lower-grade fruit in a pit on his farm at Manjimup, about 300 kilometres south of Perth.

He says the fruit, which has purely cosmetic defects, would have been sold to the food service industry in a normal production year.

"We've had to dig a hole to bury a lot of the avocados we can't sell," he said.

"To have to dump fruit which had a commercial return last year and has a zero return this year has a big impact on farmer's bottom line and some farmers are losing money this year.

"It's disappointing, the resources that go into producing avocados — it's quite high and it's expensive.

Imports continue amid domestic supply glut

This season, 8.2 million trays of avocados are expected to be picked in WA — a 233 per cent increase on last year's crop.

With so much fruit produced domestically, growers like Mr Grozotis are questioning why major retailers are still importing fruit from New Zealand.

Industry data shows that tens of thousands of trays of overseas fruit is being brought in to be sold on Australian supermarket shelves every week.

Twenty per cent of fruit that's being sold in Australia is imported, and that could be sourced from Western Australia," he said.

"Industry has told our supermarkets that there would be more than adequate production from Australian produce, but they seem to have ignored that.

"We need to get retailers on board will selling 100 per cent Australian fruit, particularly in Queensland. They are denying Australian consumers the option to purchase Australian fruit.

"You'd think you'd see our supermarkets giving a full commitment to Australian producers, particularly in these difficult times."

Hopes of import phase-out

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas hoped major retailers would phase out the imports as the Australian crop reached a consistently self-sufficient production level.

"This year we clearly don't need to see any imported avocados as you can see by the prices," he said.

"We could easily supply all the avocados that are needed in Australia this year.

"But I guess New Zealand has been in Australia for a long time and they can't turn the tap off overnight."

Mr Tyas said the industry body wanted to see importation of fruit phased out as Australian production grows.

"I think ultimately that's what will need to happen over the next few years as we can meet demand week-in-week-out there will be less of a need for that product," he said.

Exports still challenging

While export markets will be key to balancing future domestic supply gluts, developing consistent trade ties with overseas markets will take time.

Many international markets are already importing fruit from lower-cost competitor countries such as Chile and Peru.

This season unprecedented freight and logistics challenges has made it even harder to access overseas markets.

"It's very difficult to get containers and air freight is very expensive so the export market at the moment is extremely difficult," Mr Grozotis said.

Adjusting to the new normal

At the national level, this year's harvest is tipped to reach 120,000 tonnes, up from around 39,600 tonnes in 2010.

Manager Alan Blight fears supply gluts will become the new normal, because only half of national avocado tree plantings are at maturity.

"Conditions were good for productivity this year but there are also an awful lot of trees that have been planted that weren't producing this year," he said.

"It's hard to see with all of the trees in the ground people making money into the future."

In the meantime, Mr Blight hoped consumers would take advantage of the cheap produce available.

"There has never been a better opportunity to get in and try avocados and start the habit today, become addicted," he said.

Source: 

By Jessica Hayes and Lucinda Jose

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 

Australia declared free from citrus canker

Australia has been declared officially free from citrus canker following remaining restricted areas in the Northern Territory (NT) being lifted.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought, and Emergency Management, David Littleproud acknowledged and thanked NT and Western Australia (WA) for their immense efforts in leading the national response to citrus canker.

“Citrus canker is a serious bacterial disease of citrus which affects the leaves, twigs and fruit causing leaves to drop and fruit to fall to the ground before it ripens,” Minister Littleproud said.

The disease was first detected affecting potted citrus plants in April 2018 in Darwin (NT) and May 2018 in Kununurra and Wyndham (WA) in a small number of properties with potted plants originating from the NT.

“If left untreated it could have been detrimental to our $800 million citrus industry," Littleproud said. “WA was declared free from citrus canker in November 2019 after eradication activities were completed in the Kununurra and Wyndham areas."

“The nationally coordinated response to locate and remove all traces of citrus canker in the NT has been successful and all eradication activities are now complete, thanks to the support of the NT community."

He said this milestone is "great news" for the Darwin community and Australia more broadly as it allows residents and businesses in the formerly restricted areas to reintroduce, grow and cultivate citrus plants on their properties.

“It also allows unrestricted domestic movement and trade of citrus fruit and leaves into and out of the formerly restricted areas," Littleproud said.

“This is an important example of the significant biosecurity risks that Australia faces and why it is so important to follow our biosecurity conditions relating to the introduction of plant material."

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

 

Asylum seekers help to fill hort labour shortage in regional Victoria

This year has been particularly challenging for producers to find workers.

COVID-19 restrictions have caused a collapse in the number of working holiday visa holders — the backpacking workforce crucial to the agricultural industry.

Working holiday visas have fallen from about 140,000 at the end of 2019 to about 50,000 now.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) estimates there will be a shortage of 26,000 agricultural workers when demand peaks around March.

This inspired university  Aviva White, who volunteers at the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) in Melbourne. 

"We noticed a lot of coverage within the media about huge labour shortages in the agriculture industry, that there was lots of fruit to be picked and lots of jobs on farms available," she said.

That led to a collaboration with Regional Australians for Refugees (RAR), who heard about jobs going at Koala Cherries in Yarck.

Read the full article

Source : https://www.abc.net.au/

Author: Norman Hermant 

 

 

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

Stink bug threatens Italian fruit

Country's entire pear crop said to be in danger following unprecedented outbreak, with apples and kiwifruit also at risk

ruit crops including pears, apples and kiwifruit in some of Italy's major producing regions are reportedly under grave threat following an unusually widespread outbreak of brown marmorated stink bug.

The insect, which is native to several Asian countries and has recently established itself as a pest in part of Europe, North America and South America, is said to be worryingly prevalent this year across much of northern Italy, including Piedmont Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Trentino-South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

According to reports, the outbreak is so serious that some believe it threatens to wipe out Italy's entire pear crop, with estimated potential damage to that sector alone ranging from €250m to in excess of €400m.

Giorgio Mercuri, president of national cooperatives alliance ACI's agricultural division, called on the government to set up an emergency committee of ministerial and regional representatives to tackle the problem, which he said had been further aggravated by an unseasonable climate.

"This dramatic crisis, whose financial impact on businesses is remarkable, is now also expanding to other products – vegetables, soy and wheat – and regions such as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont, and is predicted that the damage will further increase," he said.

Agricultural body Confagricoltura's Emilia Romagna office released a statement confirming the bug had been detected in Italy's so-called golden quadrilateral, an area linking Ferrara, Modena, Bologna and Ravenna that is responsible for producing almost three-quarters of the country's pear crop.

The group's regional president Albano Bergami, who also produces pears near Ferrara, underscored the severity of the episode. "The reality is beyond our imagination and even more negative than any ominous initial forecast," he commented.

"Serious damage caused by the Asian bug is also being found on all varieties of pears, including Santa Maria in full harvest and even in the areas where the killer insect in the past had never appeared, so much so that now its presence can be considered endemic."

Uphill struggle

Even where crops are protected, for example with netting, the magnitude of the outbreak and the sheer number of bugs is apparently leading to damage that renders the remaining crops unprofitable.

"Some of our fellow producers have already left the pear plants to their fate because of [brown marmorated stink bug]," revealed Simone Spreafico, owner and director of Spreafico, one of Italy's largest fresh produce marketers, in conversation with Italiafruit.

A video recorded by Spreafico and posted on the Italiafruit website late last week showed a massive swarm of stink bugs apparently at a pear orchard in Veneto.

Another video, posted on Twitter by Professor Max Suckling, biosecurity science group leader at New Zealand's Plant and Food Research, showed the bugs crawling across a mower at an apple research orchard in Trentino, north-west Italy, managed by Fondazione Edmund Mach.

"The latest case was this week: a 40ha farm in Rovigo, which had just started harvesting the summer variety Santa Maria," Spreafico added. "After having seen the huge damage to the fruit, the owner decided to abandon all operations."

Even with covers, he said, volume losses would still be around 30-40 per cent. "Younger bugs, in fact, are so small that they can often slip into nets. We can do nothing to counter them. Unfortunately, this insect will take away even the little pears that we expected to harvest this year."

As far as Spreafico was concerned, it made no sense to produce if only two-thirds of the potential production ends up being viable. "It can be done for a year, two at most," he told Italiafruit. "The 2019 vintage is considered lost. Next year, we will be forced to cut down the trees.

"As producers we need immediate responses from government and research bodies, so we can overcome the bug problem in the shortest possible time."

Fruitnet understands that some producers in Italy are looking to adopt control measures similar to those employed in other parts of Europe and the US, where affected growers have been known to deploy an insect known as the Samurai wasp to bring stink bug infestations under control.

The wasps are known to deposit eggs in the bug's own eggs, which then die as the parasitic larvae grow.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Mike Knowles

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

 

Citrus Australia: Harsher penalties for people who threaten industry

Industry organisation Citrus Australia has stated it is extremely disappointed at the ‘slap on the wrist’ issued to an Australian resident who attempted to smuggle infected budwood into the country. The perpetrator was fined $7,000 for importing the prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers. The citrus plant cutting tested positive to two viruses that could cause diseases in citrus and also contained insects.

CEO Nathan Hancock has expressed his sincere thanks to the customs officer who found the cutting but said it was disappointing the judge did not take the opportunity to issue a severe penalty as a warning to others.

“A fine of $7,000 for importing a prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers is grossly inadequate when you consider the economic damage that could have occurred,” Hancock said. “The citrus industry, working with Government departments and other bodies, is currently working to eradicate the exotic disease citrus canker from the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Whilst confident we will achieve our goal, the cost to eradicate this could be in the tens of millions of dollars and has severely disrupted several growers’ lives in Kununurra and areas around Darwin.”

Hancock said deliberate acts like this put the livelihoods of thousands of Australians working in rural and regional Australia at risk, and could decimate the $800 million dollar citrus industry. Australians who now fail to declare plant or animal matter can receive fines up to $63,000 and up to five years in jail.

According to citrusaustralia.com.au, Hancock has asked judges in future cases to consider the impact imported pests and disease would have on the Australian horticulture industry and set an example through far tougher penalties in the future.

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest in full swing

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest is in full swing across both New Zealand and Australia with the company cautiously assessing the effect of the dry summer with both countries experiencing hot dry conditions. Rainfall in New Zealand was unseasonably low through the first quarter, and in Australia, Shepparton was in drought conditions with temperatures regularly above 40 degrees.

Generally, harvest 2019 began early attributed to dry late summer conditions. In New Zealand; the SunGold harvest is nearing completion with Seeka over 96% packed. Attention is now focusing on Hayward.

In the case of Hayward, Seeka has processed approximately 30% of its crop. Yields from early orchards were below estimate and the company is watching the next phase of the harvest to ascertain full year crop volume.

Seeka has significantly refurbished its Oakside site including a significant machine upgrade, and had constructed a new packhouse and packing machine at its newly acquired Kerikeri site. Both machines have commissioned well and hit their targeted volumes.

The company also purchased the business of Aongatete Coolstores Limited just prior to the season adding between 4m and 4.5m trays of supply to the group. The Aongatete purchase included experienced staff supported by loyal growers.

Safety through the early part of the season had been a particular focus for Seeka as part of its sustainability drive. The SunGold crop which is increasing in volume puts pressure on labour numbers for a short period. A labour shortage has been declared, and has resulted in some easing of the shortage, but some shifts remain difficult to fully resource. Adding to this pressure, the structure of the early season meant that post-harvest operators worked long hours to achieve premiums for their growers in achieving payment deadlines. Seeka has advocated changes to the structure to deliver a better safety profile.

Seeka has completed the harvest of its Red variety which was successfully picked, packed and exported to Australia. The spectacular fruit has a striking red central star burst on a golden background and with its sweet, berry flavour which has been well received by consumers.

The harvest of Seeka's green kiwifruit grown in Australia is also underway for the domestic and export markets. The team has worked well under dry conditions to produce a great quality crop.

Given the early start, the season is expected to finish in late May. Seeka is satisfied with the service delivered to our growers to date and the fruit's quality and performance to the market. It looks forward to continuing a safe and successful 2019 kiwifruit harvest.

For more information:
Kim McFadden
Seeka
Kim.McFadden@seeka.co.nz

 

Source: www.freshplaza.com