Apple and Pear

Market access into China is a key part of the agenda

During a recent trip to China, APAL representatives met with senior government officials, significant retailers and other high-level influencers to discuss market access and the Australian apple industry.

APAL CEO, Phil Turnbull; Director Global Development, Andrew Hooke; and Quality Project Manager, Andrew Mandemaker travelled to represent the Australian apple and pear industry on the Taste Australia stand at the China Fruit & Vegetable Fair (China FVF), 3-5 November.

“Participation at China FVF provides important access to Chinese decision makers and an opportunity for the Australian industry to show its interest and support for the Chinese market and put on display our export potential,” Phil explained. “While we were there, we had the opportunity to engage key Chinese government and non-government decision makers involved in making access-related decisions. This is really timely for the apple industry as we’re next in line for market access negotiations.”

During their visit, the trio met with officials from the China Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) – the two organisations responsible for setting and implementing market access policy.

Other key stakeholder meetings led by APAL were held with senior Australian Department of Agriculture and Austrade officials based at the Australian Embassy in Beijing.

In addition to the government related discussions, the APAL team met with senior executives at e-commerce giant to gain a better understanding of the opportunity for export in China.

“As our discussions progressed, it became apparent that Chinese consumers are developing a taste for premium, quality, Australian apples from Tasmania. If we can build on this demand, through forming relationships with retailers, there’s a strong likelihood that mainland Australian apples will also enter the market as a premium product once access negotiations are complete,” Phil said.

“As we’ve recently highlighted, export is a key priority for the Australian apple and pear industry. Discussion during our meetings supported the Export Development Strategy findings that China is a market for premium, imported produce of a high quality. Our initial focus will be to supply Tier 1 cities, leading with branded product.”

Subsequent to the visits in China, representatives from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China visited the APAL office last week to gain a better understanding around quality and the capability of Australian industry around food safety and traceability.

“The delegation was keen to understand how the quality of our fruit is protected and maintained from the orchard through the entire supply chain,” explained Andrew Hooke.

They also discussed the importance of protecting importers’ rights in relation to intellectual property and brand in China, and noted that the division enforcing trademark protection reports to the Ministry of Commerce. “We raised our concern around brand and tree protection for Pink Lady apples and they indicated there would be support in protecting Australian apple and pear brands against counterfeiting,” Andrew said.

Some of the key Chinese retailers from China FVF will also be visiting Australia later this month and follow-up meetings have been arranged at the APAL office. “There was a very positive tone set during the event,” said Phil. “Ms Lou Junwen from AQSIQ made a point of attending our stand to confirm the commitment towards strengthening relationships and developing trade opportunities between Australia and China, and of course our attendance at the event next year.”

Taste Australia is an initiative by Horticulture Innovation Australia to significantly grow exports by 2025. Previously, APAL has attended China FVF under the Australia Fresh banner.


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Publication date: 11/30/2017

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.

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.

Table-grape, apple and cherry exports drop by up to 34%

While many horticulture crops have sectors have seen growth, others have not been so fortunate in the first quarter of this year. A report released by Euromonitor International last week found table-grape ­exports dropped 34 percent in the first quarter. Cherries, apples and pears also saw a drop of 33%.

The Australian Table Grape Association said earlier this year that harvest was delayed by three to four weeks due to poor seasonal conditions. The industry exports about 60 per cent of its crop with the remaining 40 per cent consumed domestically.

The report found from January to March, Australian table-grape exports dropped to all markets, except for China.

Despite the decline in cherry exports, the report found exports to the United Arab Emirates ­increased in terms of value. This was due to strong cherry prices.

“The price of cherries to the UAE rose strongly, ­reflecting a price point of $12.80 per kg in the first quarter compared with $8.20 per kg in the first quarter of last year,” the report said.

The Australian cherry ­industry aims to lift exports to 12,000 tonnes by 2020-21, which would be an increase of more than 340 per cent in comparison with 2015 export volumes.

source: via

Publication date: 7/13/2017


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
P: +86 311 67503608 |M: +86 13582133039
Wechat:13582133039 / Skype: greatwall_fan

Publication date: 7/13/2017


Image: Flickr_komubert

Thailand is enamoured with Aussie mandarins

Demand for Australian fruit, especially mandarins, continues to increase in Thailand, on the back of targeted trade promotional campaigns like the annual ‘Australia Now! In Season’ initiative.

‘Australia Now! In Season’ is a multi-industry, multi-country integrated promotional program focused on South East Asia. It is designed to raise awareness of the advantages of quality, safe and healthy Australian horticulture products.

The program promotes Australia’s fresh fruit as it comes into season, commencing with summer fruits including grapes, then pears, apples, navels and mandarins as the season progresses.

Stuart Rees, Austrade’s Trade Commissioner for Bangkok, said imported fresh fruit, including mandarins, is enjoying rapid market growth due to increasing demand from Thailand’s retail, food service and food manufacturing sectors.

‘This is because Thailand is the region’s food manufacturing hub, catering to both domestic and international markets. It is also underpinned by changing consumer patterns and the increasing income levels of Thai consumers,’ said Rees.

‘Thai consumers also have a greater awareness of food safety issues. Australia is seen as a “clean, green and safe” supplier, offering better quality and tasting produce when compared to imported products from other countries.

‘While the Thai market is particularly receptive to Australian table grapes, summer fruit, apples and pears, mandarins, particularly the Australian Honey Murcott variety, is becoming the popular choice,’ noted Rees.

‘Australian Honey Murcott mandarins are highly regarded because of their vibrant colour, long shelf life and high sugar content with a well-balanced acidity,’ he added.

While China remains Australia’s largest market by value for mandarins in 2016, Thailand was Australia’s largest export market by trade volume. More than 7,770 tonnes of mandarins were exported, an increase of nearly 25 per cent in 2016 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Local retailers are reporting very strong sales of Australian mandarins and are predicting growth of 40 per cent during the ‘Australia Now! In Season’ campaign, as it often coincides with key Chinese Lunar events celebrated in Thailand like The Hungry Ghost, Full Moon and Vegetarian Festivals.

During the Hungry Ghost Festival, Thai-Chinese descendants purchase mandarins – because of their golden exterior – as offerings during prayers for spirits and ancestors. While during the 10-day Vegetarian Festival, Thai-Chinese abstain from eating meat and instead purchase fresh produce, particularly mandarins, in greater volumes.

Another initiative which has helped propel interest in Australian produce was the Austrade-AusVeg Thai buyers visit to Australia from 10-17 May.

Thai buyers visited various fruit growing regions – namely Western Australia’s Perth Hills, South Australia’s Riverland, Queensland’s Emerald and Bundaberg and Victoria’s Murray and Sunraysia districts – to obtain a greater awareness of Australia’s capabilities and offerings.

Rees said these activities have collectively resulted in more leading retailers across Thailand actively seeking Australian produce to sell in their stores.

The Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) has also provided Australian exporters with a competitive advantage over other countries, as it eliminated import duties for many fresh produce items in 2015.

For more information contact Austrade or visit the website to learn more about the opportunities in the fruit and vegetable sector and doing business in Thailand.

Source: Austrade

image: Pixabay_pixel2013


U.S. fruit industry concerned over Mexican tariffs

The U.S. apple and grape sectors have voiced concern over the Mexican Government’s recent announcement that it will impose retaliatory tariffs on the commodities.

On Thursday U.S. President Donald Trump announced duties of 25% and 10% would be imposed on steel and aluminum imports respectively from Mexico, Canada, and the EU, leading to an angry response and threats of reciprocal measures.

Mexico said it would hit the U.S. with tariffs on numerous food products including apples, grapes, and blueberries, but did not specify when they might come into effect or at what rate they would be.

Apples are by far the biggest export commodity to Mexico of the three fruits. USDA data shows apple exports to the market last year totaled around US$275 million.

Table grape exports last year were registered at US$94 million, while blueberry exports were far lower at US$840,000.

Todd Fryhover of the Washington Apple Commission said on Thursday that the industry was in a “wait and see” mode as there was no official word on what rate the duty would be.

He added that Mexico is Washington’s leading export market, with a value of US$215 million last season.

“Any duty, just like the ‘potential’ India duty, will be impactful – but how impactful will be determined once we have more details,” he said, referring to India’s recent threat to impose an additional 30% duty on U.S. apples.

Alexander Ott of the California Apple Commission said: “We are concerned about the tariffs from Mexico. It is always concerning that countries tie commodities to other industries as leverage.”

“Mexico is the second largest export market for California apples and a significant market for other apple-producing states. The effects of U.S. Apples not being able to ship to Mexico due to high tariffs not only prevents agricultural to provide a healthy and nutritious product to consumers but may have an impact on other markets due to those apples not being able to ship into the existing markets.

“We hope there will be a quick resolution to the trade situation.”

As for table grapes, John Pandol of California-based Pandol Brothers explained the state has recent experience with retaliatory duties on the issue of Mexican trucks operating in the U.S.

He said that a 45% duty caused California grape exports to the market to drop from 4.5 million to 1.5 million boxes several years ago.

“The multiple impacts of price pressure from Mexico and a larger percentage of the crop being channeled into the remaining markets spells a challenging season,” he said.

“Many of us who think President Trump has done many positive things in many areas are confused on his foreign trade posture. In one meeting a grower stated, “we’ll fall on the sword on the China deal but leave NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] alone.”

“It is clear that those in our industry who dismissed fear of reprisals were mistaken. I’m watching a lifetime of market access work being thrown under the bus.”

Canada also announced it would impose a 10% tariff on U.S. cucumbers. Last year the U.S. exported US$13.7 million of the vegetable north of the border, according to USDA data.

The EU and Canada later announced a list of U.S products on which they would increase taxes, both including orange juice on their lists.

Florida Citrus Mutual spokesperson Andrew Meadows on Monday said that the “vast majority” of the state’s orange juice production is consumed domestically.

“Although I don’t know of a specific grower or processor who will be directly affected by the tariffs, Florida’s production has gone down drastically in the past decade due to hurricanes and disease so we have very little exports of Florida juice,” he said.