Australia’s Hort Innovation has launched the Berry Export Strategy 2028 for the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry industries following huge international growth over recent years.
The dedicated export plan to grow the three sectors’ global presence over the next decade was driven by significant grower input, the organization said.
Hort Innovation trade manager Jenny Van de Meeberg said the value and volume of raspberry and blackberry exports rose by 100 percent between 2016 and 2017.
Strawberry exports rose 30 percent in volume and 26 percent in value over the same period.
“Australian berry sectors are in a firm position at the moment,” she said.
“Production, adoption of protected substrate cropping, improved genetics and an expanding geographic footprint have all helped put Aussie berries on a positive trajectory.
“We are seeing a real transition point. Broad industry interest and a strong commercial appetite for export market development combined with the potential to capitalise on existing trade agreements and build new trade partnerships has created this perfect environment for growth.”
High-income countries in Europe, North America and northern Asia have been identified as having a palate for Australian-grown berries, with more than 4,244 metric tons (MT) of fresh berries exported in the last financial year alone.
The strategy identified the best short-term prospect markets for the Australian blackberry and raspberry industry as Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
The strongest short-term trade options identified for the strawberry sector were Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand and Macau.
The strategy focuses heavily on growing the existing strawberry export market from 4 percent to at least 8 percent of national production by volume. For raspberries and blackberries, the sectors aim to achieve a 5 percent boost in exports assessed by volume across identified markets by 2021.
Tasmanian raspberry exporter Nic Hansen said: “The more options we have for export the better. Now we just have to get on with the job of ensuring industry has all the tools it needs, such as supporting data and relationship building opportunities, to thrive in new markets.”