Mandarin

Costa enters deal to acquire NCF farms

Costa Group (ASX: CGC) is set to consolidate its position in Australia’s two leading fruit export commodities – table grapes and citrus – through the acquisition of Nangiloc Colignan Farm’s (NCF) farming operations in the greater Sunraysia district of North West Victoria.

The company announced today (Nov. 16 AEDT) it had signed a conditional agreement in conjunction with a subsidiary of CK Life Sciences Int’l (Holdings) Inc, through which CK would acquire the farm to be leased to Costa for 20 years.

The group expects the acquisition to be completed in late 2018.

NCF is a grower of high quality citrus and grapes across 567 hectares, including 240 hectares of citrus (103ha Afourer mandarins, 105ha oranges), 204 hectares of table grapes and 123 hectares of wine grapes.

Costa CEO Harry Debney said the acquisition and its focus on the Sunraysia growing region opened up growth opportunities that were not available in the South Australian Riverland, an area where Costa produces approximately half of the citrus crop.

“This acquisition and location in the Sunraysia region will reduce reliance on any one region in our portfolio and will also open up additional growth opportunities,” Debney said.

“In particular, with respect to Afourer mandarins and navel oranges this will allow us to further take advantage of export market demand.”

Costa said NCF had “attractive plantings” of proprietary table grape varieties, and it was expected the majority of table grape sales from the farm would be for export markets.

Up to a third of the NCF citrus plantings are less than five years old., while Cossta plans to convert wine grape vineyards to citrus plantings over time.

The operation has a main operating shed, cool rooms, machinery sheds and workshops, as well as 3,800ML of water under permanent licence and more than 100ML of irrigation dam capacity.

“Over recent years Costa has embarked upon both greenfield growth and M&A activity in the citrus category. This has been fuelled by expanded favourable export markets and free trade agreements with countries including Japan, South Korea and China,” Debney said.

“In order to further capitalise on this, Costa is trialling several new mandarin, orange and lemon varieties on commercial sized blocks that have market potential with improved attributes including, seedless, high brix (sugar), red flesh and different maturity timing.”

With the current 2,429 hectares of citrus category plantings Costa has in the South Australian Riverland, the NCF acquisition will bring the Company’s total plantings in the Riverland and Sunraysia regions to 2,996 hectares.

The deal comes just days after Bennelong Australian Equity Partners announced it had increased its stake in the company over recent months to hold 12.5% voting power in Costa, on behalf of security holders Citi, NAS, BNP, RBC and RBC Lux.

 

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com 

Early Murcott Mandarin Variety Key to BGP’s Good Start in China

From September 5 to 8, the booth of BGP International, a Melbourne-based produce company, caught the eye of many attendees at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 Hong Kong. Since its founding in 1992, BGP has strived to provide customers with high-quality fresh produce year-round through extensive cooperation with partners in Australia, the United States, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, and New Zealand. Now, the company has also expanded operations to California, the Philippines, India, and Egypt. Produce Report interviewed Neil Barker, CEO of BGP, to explore how his company has done in China.

Citrus has been a key category for BGP, with the company’s annual citrus volume exceeding 40,000 metric tons. Relying on oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit from the world's leading production regions to develop the Chinese market has proven a sound strategy which pairs well with BGP's own strengths. The company’s strategy for China focuses on a special Murcott mandarin, the very early Murcott variety Royal Honey Murcott, which was discovered and patented by Ironbark Citrus, a producer of premium Australian mandarins in Queensland. This variety matures one month earlier than other Murcott mandarins and possesses a skin texture and taste profile which appeals to Chinese consumers.

As an appointed partner of Ironbark Citrus, BGP enjoys the privilege of being able to promote the variety in China before fierce market competition kicks in. "Until now, every year when the sales season kicks off for Royal Honey Murcott, demand is always two to three times greater than the volume available, so we have to restrict access to only a small number of specially-selected importers to better serve the market.” Neil continued however, noting that, "because we started with these early varieties, we are in a good position to go on with our later Murcott varieties."

For a first-hand account of this highly sought-after variety, Produce Report also spoke with Jing Huang, Assistant to CEO for Fruitday, a major Chinese fresh produce e-retailer, who confirmed the popularity of the Royal Honey Murcott in China. “This will be our fifth year marketing this variety on our platform. In addition to maturing early, Royal Honey Murcotts also boast a good appearance, excellent taste, high brix, and low acid content. As a result, it has been received well on Fruitday and is a perfect fit for the Chinese market.”

According to Neil, production of Royal Honey Murcotts is expected to double over the next 3 years and BGP will be working to continually increase market penetration for the variety in China.

Besides sourcing from Australia, BGP were also among the first companies to bring Chinese consumers mandarins, grapefruit, and lemons from Egypt. "We also expect some increases in these volumes in the years ahead. To achieve this goal, our grower partners in Egypt and South Africa are planting new farms with varieties specifically developed for the Chinese and Asian markets," Neil remarked. In addition to expanding the existing supply chain volumes, BGP is actively exploring new fruit varieties as well, such as avocadoes, nectarines, plums, and peaches, to further add value to its business in China.

BGP has been exporting premium Australian fruit to China since the early 2000s. Over the years, the company has developed into a crucial supplier to many upscale supermarkets, online retailers, and wholesalers in China. As one of the forerunners in marketing China-grown produce around the world, BGP has operated an office in China for a number of years to facilitate its exports of apples, citrus, garlic, and ginger to India, the EU, and other Asian markets. BGP was also involved in the early shipments of Ya pears (a famous type of pear native to northern China) to Australia.

Source: https://www.producereport.com 

 

 

Australia's citrus industry set for another record year but nurseries run short of tree stock

Citrus growers across Australia have good reason to celebrate, with prices and global demand predicted to hit new records.

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant said the industry was booming, with growers getting twice or three times as much for their fruit than they were five years ago, and exports were steadily increasing.

"We've seen returns in the vicinity of $700–900 a tonne on navel oranges this season," Mr Cant said.

"In 2012/2013 we were looking at $200–300 a tonne, which is about our cost of production … so now we see fantastic returns for growers."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke said it had been an exceptional season for growers as weather conditions, fruit quality, and crop quantity had been great.

"Citrus has to be picked when it is dry and above 12 to 13 degrees, so this year with harvest we had no drizzle and no rain," he said.

"I feel for my brothers in the dryland farming but, as far as citrus picking goes, it's been excellent for us."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke says they've had great season with good fruit quality, weather conditions, and fruit quantity. 

And as demand is outstripping supply, Australian exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this year.

Mr Cant said last year's official figures for citrus exports were around $480 million and they were confident to be a bit over $500 million in exports this year.

"And we could see $550–600 million in export next year," Mr Cant said.

"We've seen positive improvements in all markets, Japan has been about the same but China and the USA are up and pretty much everything across the board.

"Certainly, the demand for navel oranges continues to rise across key export markets like China and Japan."

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant says citrus exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this season. 


Growers benefit with first harvest under new import rules to China. After years of negotiations the Chinese Government recognised the Riverland region as a pest-free area for all horticulture commodities late last year, and the benefits were being felt by citrus growers this harvest.

The fruit-fly free recognition for exports to China means growers do not have to cold-treat their produce, which results in faster and direct shipment and cost savings for growers.

The Riverland's fruit-fly-free recognition for exports to China gives growers a competitive advantage. 

Chair of Citrus Australia SA Region Steve Burdette said it was their biggest competitive advantage where additional cost for cold treatment would not have to be paid anymore.

"The fruit is a lot fresher when you ship it and eating quality is a lot more superior," Mr Burdette said.

"It created a lot more demand for our fruit into China."

Mr Cant said reasons for the high demand from China was their rising middle class prepared to pay for quality and the recognition of Australia's citrus as a premium product.

Citrus Australia market access manager David Daniels said there was a 50–60 per cent increase of exports to China from South Australia compared to last season, but this number was based on a low tonnage figure.

"China is the number-one market across the country, but that trade is primarily captured by the Victorian exporters. For South Australia, Japan is still a very strong market," Mr Daniels said.

"Returns to growers are better than ever."

Ben Cant says demand for navel oranges is certainly increasing. (ABC Rural: Jessica Schremmer)
"I would have to say everywhere we go, growers are very happy, with some saying prices are better than they have ever experienced in their lifetime."

Mr Daniels said the global demand for citrus was high due to an undersupply from competitor nations, where growers struggled with pest and disease hitting their produce.

Citrus plantings boom but many nurseries are sold out of trees. As global demand for citrus is expected to be strong, thousands of new citrus tree plantings are going into the ground across the country. But many nurseries are sold out of stock and do not have trees available until early 2020.

Mr Cant said there was a two to three-year wait for nursery stocks.

"We are on a massive growth trajectory, people are putting in trees of the preferred varieties as fast as they can right now," he said.

Chislett Farms nursery manager Jonathan Chislett from the Mallee region in Victoria said demand for trees was very high.

"We're sold out for this year and next but have capacity for 2020," Mr Chislett said.

"I don't have the exact numbers but it might be a couple of hundred thousand trees."

Mr Chislett said it was the highest demand he had ever seen and, as demand increased, nurseries were increasing their capacity to accommodate for it.

Engelhardt Citrus nursery owner John Engelhardt, located in the Orara Valley in New South Wales said he sold out of stock in July this year and would not be able to supply growers until January 2020.

"There is a lot of demand for citrus trees as the growers are getting reasonable prices for the fruit and also the export markets seem to be lucrative," Mr Engelhardt said.

"We are increasing production but at a reasonable pace."

Mr Cant said they were concerned about the volumes of trees coming on board but would work hard on opening more export markets.


ABC Rural
By Jessica Schremmer and Nadia Isa

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-10-19/another-record-year-for-citrus-industry/10388240 

U.S. - Larger California citrus crop expected but smaller Navel sizing

The 2018-19 California citrus crop looks like it will be larger than last year, but there will likely be some issues with sizing, according to an industry body.

California Citrus Commission president Joel Nelsen told Fresh Fruit Portal that it seems Navel oranges would be most heavily affected by a higher proportion of smaller sizes in the wake of the heat wave this summer.

But overall he said the season was shaping up well, with good fruit flavor and exterior quality expected across the board.

The first harvests will likely start this week, and initial volumes to be available in the market for Halloween in late October.

“The big issue for us this year is there seems to be more smaller-sized fruit,” he said.

“So that fruit 88s and smaller are going to be more difficult to market – we’re going to have plenty of 56s, 72s … but everything is shaping up well. The external quality looks good, and all the summer heat should bring us good flavored fruit, so there’s room for optimism.”

He said the smaller sizing could be across all citrus types this season, but as yet it was unclear.

“I know up in the San Joaquin Valley we’ve got an excellent crop of lemons, I know the mandarin fruit looks pretty good right now from a size perspective … So I think it’s mainly been the Navel oranges that’s been affected.”

He also pointed out that there has been plenty of surface water growers could access this year.

Timing-wise the season is running a little bit later than last year, with a lack of cold nights slowing color development.

“You can’t be picking green fruit when it comes to citrus. We haven’t had that many cold nights, so it’s all up to Mother Nature now,” he said.

The mandarin harvests should start around the same time as the Navel harvests, beginning with Satsumas, then moving onto Clementines and Murcotts.

While the U.S. Navel market is reported to be relatively healthy at the moment, a recent market report by Capespan North America noted the easy peeler market was much slower, with an abundance of Chilean mandarins available.

“We’ve seen an explosion of offshore imports into our domestic market and the pricing is chaotic. One could almost argue there has been some dumping in terms of price,” Nelsen said.

“There is an oversupply situation, and it’s difficult for the domestic producer to push back on that because our costs are generally more expensive than what the offshore producer has in terms of cost.

“But we think that with our consistent quality, meaning both flavor and exterior quality our fruit will knock that stuff off the store shelves.”

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Taste Australia yields big results in foreign trade

In the 12 months since Hort Innovation launched its boldest foreign trade initiative to date, the industry has reported record export sales and greater demand for Australian grown produce.

Underpinned by more than $40 million in research and development projects, and backed by world-class science and technology, the Taste Australia initiative was developed in response to industry calls for a cohesive, national export project to drive foreign interest and demand for Australian horticultural products.

The initiative was launched at Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) last year, which is the largest specialised fruit and vegetable trade event in Asia. The project proved so successful, it is now being rolled out in 10 countries across Asia and the Middle East.

Australian growers will once again showcase their premium products under the Taste Australia banner at AFL next week with a Hort Innovation delegation of more than 220 stakeholders, representing 80 Australian businesses across 528 square metres.

The extensive trade effort over the last 12 months saw the value of fresh horticultural exports reach a record $2.18 billion for the year ending June 2018, with over 40 per cent of this value being driven by the export of citrus fruits, table grapes and cherries.

Hort Innovation General Manager for Trade, Michael Rogers, said the export results not only demonstrated the value of Taste Australia activities, but also positioned the Australian horticultural industry well within foreign markets.

“Australia has a solid reputation for delivering high-end produce that has undergone the most rigorous inspections along all stages of the supply chain, and the Taste Australia brand builds on this,” he said.

“We have been exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica for more than 10 years. When Taste Australia launched last year, we found it increased our engagement with key stakeholders across Asia."

“Through the Taste Australia brand, we are strengthening our homegrown produce on a global stage, bringing high quality, high-end premium goods to international markets.”

The Taste Australia campaign is funded by Hort Innovation using industry research, development and marketing levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Key Export Statistics
In the year ending June 2018, more than 264,000 tonnes of fresh citrus was exported valued at more than $440 million. Citrus exports were dominated by oranges ($280 million) and mandarins ($140 million).

Export values across combined citrus (including grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges) increased 48 per cent in just two years from $297 Million in 2015/16.

The single most valuable horticulture product exported was table grapes, achieving exports valued at $384 million. The value of table grape exports has grown consecutively over the last seven years.

For more information;
Farah Abdurahman
Tel: +61 447 304 255
Email: Farah.Abdurahman@horticulture.com.au
www.tasteaustralia.net.au
Publication date: 9/3/2018

 

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

Abbotsleigh Citrus featured in Bundaberg promotion

Abbotsleigh Citrus, purchased by Nutrano Produce Group in 2016, is one of the major businesses featured in an industry promotional video by Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers.

Nutrano CEO and Managing Director, Steven Chaur, said it was a tribute to the staff at Abbotsleigh Citrus that the farm has become a pin-up performer for the region.

“We are delighted for our Abbotsleigh Citrus farm to have been chosen as a showcase for the success of horticulture in this highly productive region,” Mr Chaur said.

The 190-hectare farm has over 60,000 citrus trees, growing some of the finest lemons in Australia, as well as Imperial, Hickson and Honey Murcott mandarins. In 2011, blueberries were added successfully to the mix, and Abbotsleigh now produces 800 tonnes annually under nets.

Mr Chaur said Abbotsleigh Citrus farm is exceptionally well suited to growing citrus, with deep, well drained alluvial soils, minimal frost, and access to high-quality, reliable irrigation water from the Burnett River which surrounds the farm.

“As a vertically integrated business, we grow, pack, market and transport our quality produce to ensure that customers receive the freshest produce possible, every time."

“Our packing shed at Abbotsleigh Citrus covers 4,500 square meters and is fitted with a modern packing line, including a state of the art blemish grader and computerised equipment capable of packing in excess of 120 tonnes per day."

“Another key attribute of the Bundaberg region is access to labour, with a strong local community, seasonal worker program and as a great working-holiday destination for back packers,” Mr Chaur said.

For more information;
Jonathan Raymond
Tel: +61 (613) 9663 3222
jonathan@medialinkproductions.com
www.nutrano.com.au

Publication date: 7/2/2018

 

Source and image: www.freshplaza.com

 

New guide speaks Mandarin QA for growers

Australian Murcott mandarin growers have a new tool to help them win export sales, with backing from the national Farming Together program.

Developed for the Queensland Citrus Exporters Group, the new training materials will ensure quality standards, including fruit appearance, to secure domestic and export sales.

A QA manual, standards booklet and poster were developed through the Australian Government-backed Farming Together program to reduce the variability of fruit being offered to buyers.

Project officer Zane Nicholls from Nambour said: “It was a great project and one that is very usable elsewhere. Many growers in this industry – and others – can benefit from this.”

Farming Together consultant Chris Capel helped the group develop the tools, including a 56-page Murcott variety manual. “The guide will provide an instant source of information on quality parameters for all current packing facilities to fine-tune their controls,” she said. The project also included training sessions and benchmarking exercises and a poster designed to be displayed in packaging-shed lunchrooms and quality control zones.

“These products have been delivered to group members with favourable feedback,” said Chris. “The information will be of extreme importance for any new business, staff member or emerging industry looking for a reference point.

“This opportunity will allow the project legacy to remain for many years. It will provide a lasting impression on the Murcott export market.”

Chris said the tools could also be shared with other mandarin-growing regions and producers. “The products could definitely be retrofit to suit other citrus industries, for example, lemons. There may even be wider appeal across horticulture industries for these products than anticipated.”

Zane said Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries would be extending the Farming Together work to improve the uniformity of Murcotts packed for export markets. “That will build on Australia’s reputation for delivering quality produce,” he added.

Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said: “The growing international appetite for Australian citrus fruit requires conformity of standards. We congratulate the Queensland growers for collaborating in this project.”

The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program (known as Farming Together) is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.

In less than two years Farming Together has had contact with more than 21,000 farmers, making it possibly Australia’s largest farmer agency. It has supported more than 730 collaborative farm, fish and forestry groups. In its first year the program turned a $9.21m Australian Government investment into $20.45m of value-added production, creating 131 full-time equivalent jobs. And in less than a year it fostered 180 co-ops, possibly the largest number of co-ops in Australian farming history.

The Farming Together pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University and runs until 30 June 2018. The program delivery team comprises highly experienced senior staff drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.

For more info: www.farmingtogether.com.au 


Publication date: 6/21/2018

'It's like a licence to print money' — Citrus industry urges Government to help preserve China trade

The citrus industry has called on the Federal Government to not "trip up" their trade with China, as Australian orange and mandarin growers enjoy the best prices in years.
Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said the industry was experiencing boom times, with growers getting twice to three times as much for their fruit as they were five years ago.

The citrus harvest started in early May and this season demand is expected to outstrip supply, largely due to increasing exports to China.

China accounted for almost a quarter of the total 273,000 tonnes of citrus fruit exported last year.

"In 2013 we were close to zero export tonnes to China … In 2017, we exceeded 70,000 tonnes to China," Mr Hancock said.

But Mr Hancock was concerned about the fragility of the current world order, and Australia's relationship with our most lucrative trading partner.

"I'm not the only one in industry who is nervous about that," Mr Hancock said.

"We can't do anything much about those political machinations except to say to our government we don't want them tripping things up."

Mr Hancock said the industry's peak body, Citrus Australia, along with growers and packers had put "a lot of work" into supplying China's needs.

'It's like a licence to print money'
The on-farm protocols the Chinese government demanded, primarily to prevent pests and diseases, had been difficult to enact but the hard work has paid off.

Of the 25,000 hectares of citrus trees planted across the growing regions of Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, 9,200 hectares have been registered for export to China.

Second generation fruit grower John Hederics at Trentham, near Mildura, said one variety of pink-fleshed navel orange was particularly popular.

"It's like a licence to print money," he said.

The pink navel, which looks like any other orange from the outside, can fetch as much as $1,300 a tonne, Mr Hederics said.

"China's been a big change for us in the last four years with that market opening up and the demand for our fruit, they really love our fruit, especially the pink navels," he said.

"The Australian dollar has been good to us the last couple of years, it has really made a difference to the profitability of us growing citrus and exporting it."

Close view of a man's hands holding hald a pink navel orange, with a knife sliding into a section of fruit
PHOTO: Grower John Hederics says pink navels can fetch as much as $1,300 a tonne. (ABC News: Prue Adams)
Mr Hederics grows 130 hectares of citrus on his property adjacent to the Murray River, and he is clearing more land to expand the orchards to 350 hectares over the next three years; he wants to increase his production of seedless mandarins and pink-fleshed navels.

"It's a big investment," he said.

"You can't just plant a tree and harvest it next year — you've got to wait five to seven years to come into full production, so it's a real gamble guessing the varieties and what you should be doing."

Mr Hederics is one of the Mildura Fruit Company's (MFC) 130 contracted growers.

MFC is the country's biggest single supplier to the China market — accounting for about one third of the overall citrus trade.

MFC general manager Perry Hill said the Mildura-based packing plant first shipped fruit to China in 2011, after the export trade to the United States collapsed.

"Going back ten or more years ago, the biggest market for the premium grade fruit was the US," Mr Hill said.

"That diminished because of the likes of South Africa and Chile pushing a lot of fruit into that market, so all of a sudden we couldn't get the premium prices we were looking for, so we turned our mind elsewhere."

Source: http://www.abc.net.au

Author: Prue Adams

Australian import industry squeezed

Government changes to pre-clearance inspections are having harsh effects on Australian importers.

The Overseas Pre-clearance Inspection (OPI) scheme, offered through Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) since 2001, is about to disappear.

The government department made a decision to eliminate the program in 2016 meaning importers will have to inspect and clear fruit for arrival onshore in Australia.

Previously, Australia appointed inspectors who travel to selected ports overseas to pre-clear produce as it meets phytosanitary approvals. Now, the number of inspectors is being reduced and moved back home.

A spokesperson from the DAWR told Asiafruit that the program is being phased out because on-arrival inspection provides greater opportunities for the DAWR to drive compliance and better allocate resources according to biosecurity risk.

Industry representatives are not convinced.

A member of the Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) told Asiafruit that wait times for onshore clearance are sitting at around 7 or 8 days, adding an extra week to their pre-order schedule.

“The retailers don’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry but we can’t get an inspection for your program,’” they said.

Industry sources told Asiafruit that Australia’s import sector is not only concerned about their business and relationships, but the flow-on effect for export deals.

“We know that in the past several of our neighbours have used non-phytosanitary issues to restrict fruit imports,” said Neil Barker, CEO at BGP International. “When they see how effective the DAWR protectionist policy has been I have no doubt they will consider adopting the policy. If an Australian grape shipment to Jakarta airport regularly spent seven days in the cargo terminal waiting for an inspection my guess is that the trade would stop.”

Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the AHEIA explained that when inspectors are placed overseas they’re able to approve produce more efficiently as multiple orders might be stationed in a single location at a major port; last year the programme operated across 75,000 tonnes of fresh fruit imports from New Zealand and the US.

The program was offered to a handful of countries, which has dwindled over the years. Currently availability is only for the USA and New Zealand on selected fruit and veg.

The DAWR said that the removal of OPI does not impact on the number of inspectors available to the department.

However, in Australia, inspectors are having to travel much longer distances between warehouses to inspect and approve. Because of the delays, importers are also having to absorb the cost and losses from shortened shelf life and storage fees to hold sealed containers while they wait for a scheduled inspector.

To curb the problem, the DAWR decided to implement a Compliance-Based Inspection (CBI) scheme last year, which was piloted during the New Zealand avocado season.

The CBI scheme means that if a product reaches a certain number of approved inspections (for avocados it’s five in a row), they will then move to a reduced inspection rate (again for avocados, inspections will reduce to one in four shipments).

“The new scheme was intended to reward importers who could achieve a good compliance history with decreased inspection rates and faster entry. To date, no importers have achieved these reduced inspection rates,” New Zealand Avocados told Asiafruit in a statement.

“An overriding reason is the difficulty of accurately identifying often globally distributed organisms (and their eggs), down to a taxonomic level to confirm they are not of quarantine concern,” they said.

The same issue appeared in 2016 when lemons and limes from the US were subject to the trial and saw backlogs of up to ten days.

While experiencing setbacks in gaining approval, a lot of the annoyance over changes stems from the where funding of the inspection program comes from.

“The frustrating thing is that it’s industry funded. So, most of the time the limitation is cost for government processes, but this is definitely not a case of that. The industry has never said ‘we’re not willing to pay for this,’” said the anonymous AHEIA member.

The DAWR sad it’s working closely with industry and trading partners to optimise compliance and minimise any disruption, while facilitating safe trade.

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Asia drives export expansion for Australian citrus

Market Outlook Forum shines light on sector’s growth, which shows no signs of slowing down

The role Asian markets are playing in Australia’s booming citrus export trade was not understated at Citrus Australia’s Market Outlook Forum in Sydney last week.

Addressing more than 180 delegates at the event, Citrus Australia’s CEO Nathan Hancock said 91 per cent of Australian citrus exports were traded to 14 countries in 2017, of which 12 were in Asia.

Hancock noted that events like the forum help delegates understand what consumers in key Asian markets want – both in terms of product and how they prefer to buy it. He said it was also imperative that the industry continued to campaign for the reduction of trade barriers in these lucrative markets.

Elsewhere, IP Australia’s counsellor to China, David Bennett, assured delegates that the Chinese intellectual property system was stronger than some had been led to believe. He urged businesses to register trademarks early.

Keith Sunderlal of SCS Group gave an overview of the Indian market and the potential to export premium fruit there, while David Hughes, a professor at Imperial College London, said citrus could increase its market share globally by offering smaller quantities that appeal to smaller households and increasingly time-poor consumers.

In closing the two-day forum, Citrus Australia’s new chairman, Ben Cant, said strong biosecurity and food safety regimes would ensure Australia continued to grow its export programmes.

“Retail is changing rapidly, digital is having more and more impact on consumers, we need to evolve, adapt, survive and then thrive in this landscape,” he said.

The event also recognised innovation within the industry, particularly where varietal development and marketing are concerned. Craig and Bindi Pressler of 2PH, Helen Aggeletos and Maria Costi from Venus Citrus, and Frank Mercuri and his team at Pacific Fresh were all presented with Citrus Australia Supply Chain Innovation Awards.

Hancock said the sense of optimism that exists within the industry was evident throughout the event.

“The Australian horticulture industry exceeded A$1bn in exports in 2017, which was the first time we’ve achieved that in a calendar year. The citrus industry contributed 42 per cent of those exports, which is a remarkable figure.”

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

Author: Matthew Jones

Citrus Australia welcomes new Chair

Ben Cant is a third-generation citrus grower, packer, marketer and exporter. He spent 15 years running a modern packhouse in his family business, which supplied both major supermarket chains and export markets.

During this time, Ben implemented changes to increase efficiency, out-turns and retail packaging options. He has a broad experience in orchard and packhouse operations, biosecurity and logistics. Ben was also previously on the Board of Riversun Export.

At the end of 2017, Ben’s family orchard was acquired by the Costa Group. He is so passionate about the industry, that there was never a doubt he would remain active in it, and he has taken up the role of Citrus Supply Manager for the Costa Group.

The Board elected him Chair at its meeting on Wednesday.

Ben joined the Citrus Australia Board as a Grower Director in 2012, and he said he has been proud to have been part of initiatives that have increased grower returns and the profitability of the industry.

He said he was humbled to be elected to the role.

“The recognition by my peers, the Board and the wider industry is a humbling experience. I will strive to do my best to deliver greater outcomes for the citrus industry,” Ben said.

“I’ll bring experience, broad production and supply chain knowledge, and passion to the role, as well as a team approach, a collegial atmosphere and an inclusive environment.

“I hope to continue the industry’s upward trajectory, have even greater grower engagement, increase Citrus Australia’s membership and continue to support the terrific work the existing team is already doing.”

He thanked the outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership and contribution during her eight years in the role.

“Tania has many years of hands-on growing experience and was able to lead the Citrus Australia board with a high level of rapport with the greater horticulture community,” Ben said.

Greg Dhnaram was reelected the Deputy Chair.

Greg welcomed Ben into the role and said he would bring a range of experience in, and passion for, the citrus industry to the role.

“Ben has a great understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our industry,” Greg said.

“The Australian citrus industry is enjoying strong prices thanks to unprecedented export demand, supported by the tireless work of the Citrus Australia members, staff and board. I’m confident Ben will lead our company and industry to continue the strong trajectory.

Greg also thanked outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership during her eight years in the role.

“During her tenure, Tania’s achievements include defending grower interests in backpacker labour reforms and raising the profile of citrus at all levels,” Greg said.

“Tania was the inaugural Chair of the Voice of Horticulture and she was the driver in addressing many other issues in the industry, for which we thank her.”


For more information:
Citrus Australia
Tel: +61 3 5023 6333
www.citrusaustalia.com.au

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Strong export growth for Australian produce

Australian horticulture export value has increased due to strengthening demand in China which is forecast to continue

Australian produce may not be able to compete on price in overseas export markets, but it can compete on quality, reliability, and safety, according to ABARES’ senior economist Caroline Gunning-Trant.

“Exports of fresh horticultural produce were worth more than $2bn in 2016 to 17, with strong growth in fruit and nut exports over the past five years,” she said.

Meeting the expectations of consumers was a key takeaway point for delegates at the ABARES Outlook 2018 conference today in Canberra.

Gunning-Trant said that a demand from Asia for Australian produce, coupled with favourable exchange rates and improved access, have supported Australia’s recent export growth.

Over the six years to 2016-17, Australia’s fruit and nut exports to its top five destinations more than doubled, and the value of vegetable exports increased 50 per cent.

Moving forward

The ABARES Outlook 2018 Agricultural commodities report has forecast overall Australian agricultural exports to increase by A$3bn over the next five years, continuing the upward trend. However, due to record production in 2016-17, the gross value of overall farm production is forecast to decline in 2017-18 by five per cent.

Internationally, Australian horticultural goods are a high value sector, and Elliot Jones, general manager – grape and citrus at Costa Group understands the importance of customer expectations to create sustainable markets and solidify Australia’s premium stance.

“China is a fast-growing market where consumers are increasingly brand and quality conscious. … Our brand and quality consistency will be key to sustaining those markets,” he said.

In terms of competing with China’s own supply, the report also mentioned that the Chinese fruit industry is “not expected to produce sufficient quality fruit to displace imports from Australia over the medium term.”

Jones also stresses the importance of maintaining and improving market access protocols as critical to the industry’s success.

Domestically, the ABARES Outlook 2018 report also anticipates “moderate growth” for fruit, with Australian production and demand expected to increase, but per person fruit consumption to not growing significantly.

Throughout the next five years domestic fruit prices are expected to fall due to increased competition.

For vegetables, overall production in 2016-17 saw a two per cent drop in value, which is expected to increase by A$2m to A$3.8bn in 2017-18, far less than the two per cent decrease from 16-17.

Growth in tree nut production has been significant, and is expected to correct itself as the continuously increasing global supply outpaces demand for growth.

High costs of irrigation for Australian growers is also expected to raise overall production costs meaning the industry will need to invest in supply-chain efficiencies and value-adding opportunities.

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