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

 

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 

Australian grapes grow in Korea

Export volumes of Australian table grapes have nearly quadrupled to Korea following tariff-free access.


In 2018 the Taste Australia campaign was brought to Korea to introduce Australia's premium grapes to Korean consumers.

Initially, the campaign was run and grapes stocked exclusively, at Hyundai Department Stores, but this year export volumes have increased and Korean retailers Emart and Shinsegae Department Store have joined Hyundai as stockists.

Grapes can be purchased at all Emart outlets, and selected Hyundai and Shinsegae stores, as well as a number of franchise fruit shops and wholesale markets. Samples of table grapes were handed out between 28 March and 14 April to consumers in-store covering a range of different varieties.

In 2018 the import duty for Australian table grapes was also eliminated under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Australia’s table grape export season runs from January to May, and in the year ending June 2018, export volumes to Korea had almost quadrupled, up 379 per cent; albeit, from a small base, and in line with eliminations of the tariff, which reduced from 45 per cent to 6 per cent in 2017.

Since 2017, Australian table grapes have been promoted in the Korean market under a new brand name, Tams Gold. The name is a combination of the word ‘tams-rudba’, which Austrade says translates to ‘attractive, nice, ripe and delicious looking’, and the word gold which symbolises the golden/green colour of grapes.

At the time of the re-brand, Australian ambassador to Korea, James Choi, said the aim of the branding was to help assist Korean importers to satisfy the demand for quality grapes in Korea.

Joon Choi of major importer Soo Il Commerce said in mid-March he was gearing up for an aggressive approach toward grape promotions and has noted growth in the category due to increased volumes from the US.

Choi also said a range of new grape varieties entering Korea has peaked consumer interest.

This article was originally published in the June 2019 edition of Asiafruit Magazine

http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit 

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Indian mango exports - Mango consignments leaving for US & Australia

As Alphonso mangoes are in great demand in many markets abroad, they form a substantial chunk of India’s export basket. The mango export season has started in Maharashtra, with 28 tons of the fruit leaving for American and Australian shores.

Officers of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) said they are aiming for a 15-20 per cent increase compared to last year’s exports. This year, Board officials have set a target of 800 tons of exports for US markets.

MSAMB officials said the 28 tons of mangoes, meant for American and Australian markets, have been treated in an irradiation facility in Vashi. Similarly, 7.5 tons of mangoes for Russian and New Zealand markets have received the vapour heat treatment.

In order to facilitate exports, the MSAMB recently organised two workshops in Konkan for farmers, as well as for buyers and sellers. Workshops were also conducted on how to produce export-quality fruits.

Source: indianexpress.com via www.freshplaza.com 

Indonesia tastes Australian grapes

Promotional tasting events held across Indonesia in line with increased volumes due to new varieties
This year, Indonesia will enjoy a 20 per cent increase in volume of Australian table grapes on the market.

The island-nation exported more than 15,000 tonnes of grapes in 2018 and is expecting to increase on that number in 2019. New varieties coming into maturity are cited for the increase in volumes, as well as favourable growing conditions producing a quality yield.

Australia exports a wide range of seed and seedless varieties of grapes to Indonesia including Red Globe, Crimson Seedless, Thompson Seedless, Autumn Royal, Moondrop and Midnight Beauty.

Promotional events held across Indonesian retailers by marketing board Taste Australia, tout Australian table grapes for their nutritional value and convenience.

Tasting events will be held throughout April at participating supermarkets including FoodHall, LionSuperindo, Aeon, Frestive, Carrefour and Hypermart.

Hort Innovation trade lead, Dianne Phan, said the short shipping times between Australia and Indonesia meant Aussie grapes were able to get into the Indonesian market quickly and in top condition.

“Australia has an excellent reputation as a supplier of nutritious and high-quality fresh fruit. Our unique, pristine environment makes it the ideal place to grow fresh produce,” she said.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a range of fresh grapes direct from our vineyards to customers in Indonesia.”

 

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer 

China cherry potential

China offers great export opportunities to Argentine and Australian cherry growers, says Fruta Cloud
China will become a top cherry market for newcomers Argentina and Australia, despite tariff and fumigation challenges, as cherry demand throughout the country grows, predicts Fruta Cloud.

The Shanghai-based B2B imported fruit service provider said mainland Australia, which gained cherry access last year, has a geographical and transport-cost advantage over top cherry supplier Chile. Meanwhile, Argentina, which also gained cherry access last year, can express-ship its cherries by sea three times a week.

Indeed, Fruta Cloud said it was the first company to introduce Argentine cherries to the market this season by supplying Alibaba Group’s Hema supermarkets.

Fruta Cloud said the export opportunities for Australia and Argentina cherries in China out-weigh the challenges, which for Australia include preserving fruit quality after compulsory fumigation, and for Argentina involve a 10 per cent import tariff and a cold-treatment protocol.

“As the demand for cherries is growing stronger, it is believed that China will become one of the most important exporting markets for Argentinian and Australian cherries. Lucky Chinese consumers are provided with more options for cherries,” Fruta Cloud said in a press release.

Chile is currently China’s top Southern Hemisphere cherry supplier, shipping over 15,000 tonnes of cherries via ocean and sea from late October to the end of February, Fruta Cloud said.

“Chilean cherries have been performing well in recent years owing to their outstanding quality, such as large size and good firmness,” the company said in statement. “Thus Chilean cherries win a good reputation among consumers. In addition, the huge marketing investment from [Chilean exporter association] Asoex in China has also played a significant role in this item’s success.”

After years targetting China’s first-tier cities, Chilean cherry exporters are now focusing on the second and third-tier cities, which have great consumption potential, Fruta Cloud added.

Fruta Cloud said it helped Asoex launch Chilean cherries at Shuangfu Wholesale Market in Chongqing in January this year. “This event successfully ignited the passion for Chilean cherries in Midwest China,” Fruta Cloud said.

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

Author: Luisa Cheshire 

Berries Australia: Govt must do more to address labour shortage

Industry body Berries Australia has welcomed the extension of the skilled visa program but says the government needs to go further to address the underlying farm labor shortage.

The change involves moving most agricultural occupations from the short-term list to the regional occupations list which makes visa holders eligible for a four-year visa, double the current term.

Executive director of Berries Australia, Rachel Mackenzie, said that growers in many regions welcomed this decision as the two year turn over for their more senior staff resulted in significant disruption to their businesses.

“However. the government decision only covers skilled occupations and not unskilled labour such as fruit-picking. A new Agriculture Visa or improved Pacific Seasonal Workers program would address farm labour shortages by allowing farmers to hire a dedicated overseas
workforce on a temporary basis,” said Mackenzie.

The US$1.4 billion berry category is now the single largest fresh produce category in Australia and consumption is increasing across the county. To continue to grow, the berry industry needs access to reliable workers and this announcement will go some way toward meeting
these needs.

“Berries Australia is committed to ensuring that growers can access an effective workforce to meet their needs, as part of that we are keen to look at ways to increase the number of Australians employed on farm,” Mackenzie said.

“It may seem counter-intuitive but being able to access the skills we need from overseas means that berry businesses can be more profitable and in turn, employ more locals.”

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

New Zealand - Spotlight on quality avocado to Australia

Jen Scoular:

Normally there is a collective sigh of relief as NZ finishes an avocado export season but this year it's a different story. They experienced significant quality issues post-November, especially for their avocados going into the Australian market.

NZ harvests avocados five months of the year for export markets, and aim to harvest just in time to be cooled and packed, loaded on to the appropriate vessel, arrive in Australia to be cleared, trucked to the distribution centre or wholesale market and be available to customer orders.

Avocados are unlike kiwifruit and apples where they are all harvested at once, then coolstored until the market is ready. The tree is the coolstore, and post-harvest needs to be as speedy as possible.

Another challenge is that the New Zealand growing season is cooler and wetter than growing seasons in Western Australia, Chile, Peru and Mexico — who are NZ competitors.

 Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12210443 

Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to Indonesia with signed FTA

Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the recently signed free trade agreement with Indonesia, which will give improved market access for a range of agricultural products including carrots and citrus.

It said “wide-ranging wins” for farmers were at the heart of the much much-anticipated Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), signed in Indonesia on March 4.

“Today represents real tangible benefits to the hip pocket of many Australian farmers,” said National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Maharsaid. “IA-CEPA will deliver improved market access for live cattle, feed grains, beef, sheepmeat, dairy, sugar, fruit, carrots, potatoes and honey.”

The tariff relief represents an extra AUD$5-10 million to Australia’s fresh vegetable exports per annum, Mahar said.

Carrots, Australia’s largest vegetable export, are at the forefront of the agreement with tariffs to be cut to 10% (down from 25%) for 5000 metric tons (MT) per year, increasing to 10,000MT after 10 years, and tariffs eliminated after 15 years.

There will also be improved access for key Australian citrus exports.

For mandarins, the tariff will be cut immediately to 10% (from 25%) for 7,500MT per year and reduced over time down to 0% after 20 years for an unlimited volume.

For oranges, there will be duty-free access for 10,000MT, increasing 5% each year, while for lemons and limes here will be duty-free access for 5,000MT, increasing 2.5% each year

Tariffs on potatoes will be cut immediately to 10% (from 25%) for 10,000MT per year, and after five years tariff further reduced to 5% for 12,500MT per year.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

Plant Biosecurity Advice 2019-P03 - Release of the draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile

28 February 2019

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the draft report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocado fruit from Chile.

The draft report proposes that importation of fresh avocado fruit from all commercial production areas of Chile be permitted, subject to a range of biosecurity requirements.

The department has now published the draft report for a 60 calendar day public consultation period, closing on 29 April 2019.

Stakeholders are invited to have their say on the draft report. The department will consider all stakeholder comments received during the consultation period in preparing a final report.

The department announced the commencement of this risk analysis on 23 March 2018, via Biosecurity Advice 2018-05, advising it would be progressed as a review of biosecurity import requirements.

The draft report identifies seven quarantine pests associated with fresh avocado fruit from Chile that require risk management measures to reduce the biosecurity risk to an acceptable level. The quarantine pests identified are:

  • Fruit flies: Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)
  • Mealybugs: grape mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus)
  • Thrips: Chilean flower thrips (Frankliniella australis), tamarugo thrips (Frankliniella gemina) and western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
  • Mites: avocado brown mite (Oligonychus punicae) and avocado red mite (Oligonychus yothersi).

 

  • The draft report proposes risk management measures, in combination with operational systems, to reduce the risks posed by the seven quarantine pests so as to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. These measures include:
  • area freedom, fruit treatment (such as cold disinfestation treatment) or hard condition of fruit (for the Hass cultivar only) for Mediterranean fruit fly
  • consignment freedom verified by pre-export visual inspection and, if detected, remedial action for grape mealybug, Oligonychus spider mites and thrips
  • The draft report and more information about this risk analysis are available on the department’s website. Printed copies of the report are available on request.

The department invites stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses to subscribe via the department’s online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy, including this risk analysis.

Dr Marion Healy
First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division

Source: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity 

 

Australia to boost Vietnam trade ties through table grapes

Việt Nam is a potential market for Australian table grapes because of its growing middle class, rapid economic growth and the increasing purchasing power of Vietnamese consumers.

The statement was made by Yvonne Chan, Australian Deputy Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner to Việt Nam, at a seminar in Hà Nội on Thursday.

The event was organised to cement existing trade relations and build new partnerships among Australian table grape exporters and Vietnamese importers.

Table grapes are produced in all Australian states, with the majority grown in Victoria. Of the country’s roughly 1,000 table grape growers, most are small-scale, family owned businesses.

Australia plants an average volume of 170,000 tonnes of table grapes each year, 62 per cent of which is exported to 42 countries and territories, Chan said.

Việt Nam is the 7th largest importer of Australian table grapes with a 4 per cent share, following China (38 per cent), Indonesia (15 per cent), Japan (10 per cent), Hong Kong (7 per cent), the Philippines (5 per cent) and Thailand (5 per cent).

According to Dianne Phan, trade head of Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, Việt Nam is a key export market for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to introduce Vietnamese consumers of Australian grapes.

“Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce,” she said.

Australian Table Grapes Association CEO Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year such as sweet nectar, sweet sapphire, pristine seedless, long crimson, cotton candy and melody seedless. However, thompson seedless and crimson seedless are still expected to be Australia’s main export varieties.

“Việt Nam is one of the best favourable markets for Australian table grapes, especially thanks to the easy delivery through air flights between the two countries,” Scott told Việt Nam News.

“I expect the exporting volume of Australian table grapes into Việt Nam will reach 7,000 tonnes this year, nearly five times higher than that in 2016,” Scott said.

Besides table grapes, Australia is exporting two other types of fruits into Việt Nam, including citrus and cherry fruits.

Negotiations are also ongoing to bring Australian stone fruits into the Vietnamese market.

“I look forward to the trade ties between Australia and Việt Nam being closer and more and more Australian products being presented in Việt Nam, especially after Việt Nam officially became a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),” Chan told Việt Nam News. — VNS


Source: https://vietnamnews.vn