Mandarin

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 

Costa boosts first-half profits

“Standout” performance for citrus and tomatoes helps drive 14.5 per cent increase Australian group’s first-half profits
Leading Australian grower-packer-marketer Costa Group has announced a 14.5 per cent increase in first-half net profit to A$28.6m.

The result came on the back of a near 10 per cent increase in revenue in the six months to 31 December, to some A$489.4m.

Chief executive Harry Debney singled out citrus and tomatoes as the star performers among its core categories.

“These results are indicative of a strong 1H FY2018, with our citrus category continuing to make a standout contribution, fuelled by growing export demand across our key markets including Japan, the US and China,” Debney said.

“Tomatoes also made an excellent contribution boosted by the snacking segment’s performance.”

In the H1 results announcement, Costa also reported on a number of key investments to drive its further growth.

The group expanded its shareholding in Morocco-based berry venture African Blue in November, boosting its ownership to 86 per cent, from 49 per cent, in a deal worth A$68.5m.

Avocado acquisitions

Besides berries, avocado expansion is also on the cards, with Costa today announcing a conditional agreement to buy Coastal Avocados in the mid-north coast of New South Wales, a new growing region for the company. Coastal currently produces around 200,000 trays of avocados per year, a figure expanded to grow to 300,000 trays as plantings mature. It also packs a further 300,000 trays for third-party growers.

Costa announced two further avocado acquisitions were completed as of January, including the Gunalda avocado farm in Central Queensland and Burness avocado farm in Far North Queensland.

“As a result of these acquisitions, Costa will, on completion of the Coastal Avocados acquisition, have a production and supply footprint stretching from February through to December,” said Debney. “We are now well under way to executing our strategy to build avocados into our fifth core vertically integrated produce pillar and to ultimately achieve 52-week supply.”

The new avocado acquisitions, together with recent additional plantings, are set to take the company’s total plantings to around 679ha with a presence in four growing areas across three states and packhouse facilities in each region. They bring Costa’s investment in the avocado category, in conjunction with Macquirie Agricultural Funds Management, to A$110m, as the group bids to become “the market leader” in the next three years.

Acquisition activity in Australia was not limited to the avocado categrory, with Costa also completing the purchase of citrus operation Impi Orchards in December. The operation includes 77ha of citrus plantings, with a further 65ha of development land, producing a mix of oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and lemons.

“This now brings Costa’s total citrus plantings to around 2,240ha, which are all located in the Riverland region,” said Debney, who confirmed that Costa “maintained an active interest in M&A opportunities in the citrus industry”.

Elsewhere, Costa reported on the ongoing successful execution of its domestic berry growth programme in Australia, where it has added 95ha of new plantings in 2018.

The group also said its investments in berry operations in China remained on track, despite a challenging summer with wet weather hampering production. The company is planning a 65ha expansion at its new Manhong site for 2019.

Positive outlook

Costa said it now expects full-year net profit to grow by around 25 per cent, up from previous guidance of at least 20 per cent.

Full-year earnings would be more heavily weighted to the second half of the fiscal year, the company said, due to the timing of the avocado harvest and further growth of international operations, including the consolidation of African Blue in December 2017.

The earnings forecast includes a contribution from Costa’s acquisition of African Blue. Costa’s purchase of a further 37 per cent shareholding of the company prompted a revaluation of the 49 per cent stake it already held. A $40.1m non-cash gain on the revaluation increased Costa’s statutory net profit for H1 to A$66.2m.

The company raised its interim dividend of 5 cents per share, fully franked, up 25 per cent on FY17.

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

Author: John Hey

Market trends in focus at Citrus Australia forum

Tickets have sold out for the highly anticipated bi-annual Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum – the only national event for the citrus industry for the year.

More than 150 representatives from the growing, packing and marketing sectors of the citrus industry will attend the Forum in Sydney on March 14 and 15.

“With the Australian citrus industry in a buoyant phase, thanks to strong export markets and continued unprecedented demand, this Citrus Australia event will be a unique chance to be part of the conversation to set the industry’s course for the next five to 10 years,” Nathan Hancock, CEO of Australia Citrus, said.

“The key players in the country’s citrus industry will gather in one venue and hear from an impressive line-up of speakers from both Australia and overseas.

“This event will provide unparalleled opportunities to learn and network,” he said.

World-renowned experts will present on current and future trends in the export and domestic markets, including the impact of e-commerce and other technologies.

One of the event’s keynote speakers Tristan Kitchener will discuss how the Australian citrus industry can take advantage of the seismic shift that e-commerce is creating in the retail sector.

Amazon entered Australia’s e-commerce landscape to much fanfare last year, and its impact on the sector is yet to be fully realised. Tristan highlights that Amazon has 320 million products compared to Woolworths’ 20,000 and Coles’ 17,000. He said the tech giant also has “phenomenal ability” to use data to forecast changing consumer behaviour.

He said business such as China-based online marketplace Alibaba provide an unprecedented opportunity to market high-quality produce to Asian’s middle class, as more than 400 million consumers use Alibaba across Asia.

Tristan advocates for supply chain members to collaborate more closely to better understand consumers and meet their needs.

Fellow speaker Noel Shield is CEO of JWM Asia Holdings Limited, part the Joy Wing Mau group that is the biggest distributor of fresh produce in the Asian region. He will share his insights into Asia’s changing retail landscape and suggests that, as a high-cost producer, Australia must shore up its position as a high value, high quality, niche marketer.

The Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum, in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Complementing the extensive program are the social events, including a pre-dinner event aboard the HMAS Vampire and an Official Dinner.

Using the hashtag #CAForum18, attendees can continue these conversations online.

For more information about the event, visit https://www.citrusaustralia.com.au/event/2018-market-outlook-forum



Publication date: 2/22/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Buoyant Australian citrus industry seeks expert advice

Australian citrus will learn how to better leverage its excellent quality standards in the Asian market

The Australian citrus industry has recently seen strong growth in export markets, and ‘continued unprecedented demand’ according to Citrus Australia.

To ensure the industry is keeping abreast of market and export trends, Citrus Australia has gathered a host of international industry experts to speak at this year’s Market Outlook Forum on March 14-15.

The now sold-out event demonstrates the importance of growth in the citrus sector and will highlight topics like the impact of ecommerce on retail, and domestic and international developments in key markets.

One of the event’s keynote speakers Tristan Kitchener will discuss how the Australian citrus industry can take advantage of the seismic shift that e-commerce is creating in the retail sector.

Amazon entered Australia’s e-commerce landscape to much fanfare last year, and Kitchener believes that its impact on the sector is yet to be fully realised.

Amazon offers 320 million products, compared to Woolworths’ 20,000 and Coles’ 17,000. This combined with their data forecasting technology gives the tech giant “phenomenal ability” to predict consumer behaviour, according to Kitchener.

Noel Shield of JWM Asia Holdings will speak about the changing retail landscape in Asia, and how Australia can shore up its position as a high-value high-quality marketer.

Australian citrus has seen excellent success in quality standards during 2017 with 84 per cent of fruit passing quality standards and 100 per cent of Late Navels and Murcotts, according to Citrus Australia.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Camellia Aebischer 

AU citrus growers called to upgrade to new food safety system

A significant change in how citrus growers manage food safety may be imminent with peak industry body Citrus Australia calling on growers to get on board now and take advantage of available help.

“If you grow any table citrus including mandarins, navels, grapefruit, lemons or limes, to be sold in the major supermarkets then this applies to you,” said Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock.

The changes have come about as retailers work with Hort Innovation to simplify the red tape that multiple food safety audits have created.

Under the new system called HARPS (Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme), growers must now meet one of three base schemes for food safety: Global GAP, SQF or Freshcare.

“Many growers have relied on HACCP up until now. However the HARPS system does not recognise HACCP as a food safety system,” said Nathan.

“I share the opinion that HACCP provides a good set of food safety principles but on their own they are not a system that can be audited. However, many of the HACCP principles are evident in the three recommended systems.”

Citrus Australia supports the continuous improvement of industry to meet food safety obligations and is a member of Freshcare – the fresh produce industry’s own on-farm assurance program – because it is a system developed by growers, for growers, using R&D levies.

“To assist growers to become compliant we have put resources into becoming Freshcare trainers and are offering training direct to growers,” said Nathan.

“We want to help growers achieve a successful audit and offer post-training services as part of our initial training cost to help ensure growers are audit-ready.”

Growers need to be well prepared before audits because they can be very expensive. Auditors often will remain on site until all non-compliant issues are rectified or, worse, have to return at a later date to conduct a second audit to close out issues.

Citrus Australia ran six Freshcare training sessions last week and have more sessions planned over the next three months in the Sunraysia, Murray Valley, Riverina and Riverland citrus-growing regions.

“Increasingly we are seeing importing country governments implement food safety standards as they look to protect their populations,” said Nathan.

“Likewise, imported produce to Australia is held to very high standards – often Global GAP with additional microbial tests and maximum residue limit testing, as well as a new push to meet ethical standards.”

Growers have until the end of this year to complete training and have an audit done during harvest.


For more information:
Nicole Zerveas
Citrus Australia Ltd
Tel: +61 03 5023 6333
nicole.zerveas@citrusaustralia.com.au

Publication date: 2/12/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Nutrano restructures farm management

Australian group divides operations to accommodate predicted growth over next 12 months


Leading Australian fresh produce company Nutrano has split the management of its farming operations geographically between north and south.

Existing executive general manager – farming, Richard Byllaardt, will manage farming and pack-shed operations in the southern region, which includes farms in the Sunraysia district.

Current non-executive director, Malcolm Frick, has been appointed executive general manager – farming (northern), to manage operations in the Bundaberg region in Queensland, and Katherine in the Northern Territory.

Nutrano Produce Group managing director and CEO, Steven Chaur, said the restructure was an important step in the management of its expanding farming operations.

“As Nutrano becomes a world-class integrated fresh produce supply chain business it is important that we remain well-resourced to manage the growth and investment opportunities of our national farm fleet,” Chaur explained.

The move comes in response to the company’s recent growth and the likelihood of further acquisitions in 2018.

“Over the coming year, Nutrano anticipates completing additional farm acquisitions in core categories and making further capital investments in our farm operations in Sunraysia, Queensland and the Northern Territory,” Chaur added.

“During 2018, Nutrano will also increase its emphasis on Soft Produce farming and marketing through the Barbera Farms relationship in Bundaberg, Queensland.”


Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Matthew Jones

Australia-China access deal ratified

Trade can now commence under improved protocols for the export of Australian cherries, stonefruits, table grapes and citrus
Exporting of some stonefruits, citrus, cherries and table grapes from Australia to China will now become easier and faster under a series of new protocols ratified today (12 January).

The finalisation of the protocols comes after proposed changes to the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) were announced in November 2017. The ammendments included approval for different modes of transit for fresh fruit including air and seafreight, which had previously been excluded for certain varieties.

Exporters will still have to wait for approval to send fruit under the new protocols as import permits still need to be issued.

Table Grapes

For the table grape industry, changes mean access to airfreight with fumigated fruit. Industry members suggest this will expand their reach into inland areas and tier two cities.

“This is a game changer because it will open up a whole new market in China for our growers and they’ll be able to deliver to market after only four days,” said Australian Table Grapes Association chief executive Jeff Scott prior to ratification.

Scott said there would be significant benefits for the table grape industry in light of the new protocol.

“In two of three years, once fumigation facilities are in place and growers know how to manage the protocol, I think it could add another A$80-100m worth of exports,” he said.

Citrus

Key benefits for Australian citrus exporters include recognition of South Australia’s Riverland as a pest free area, approval of cold disinfestation at 30C, and a relaxation of the field control measures for certain pests.

“This will provide benefits to both sides of the trade. Fruit will undoubtedly arrive in better condition with better out-turn quality and shelf life and reduce the costs of supply,” explained David Daniels, market access manager at Citrus Australia.

“Ultimately, it means that we can continue to supply Chinese consumers with high quality fruit at affordable prices.”

Stonefruit

For the stonefruit industry, the deal will extend access beyond nectarines to include peaches, plums and apricots. The protocol includes low-dose methyl bromide fumigation of peaches, which allows fruit to be airfreighted.

“We’re also completing efficacy trials for low-dose methyl bromide on plums and apricots, with the hope of getting airfreight-friendly protocols for those products next year,” said John Moore, CEO of Summerfruit Australia.

Exporters must attain a Chinese import permit before sending their first consignments of fruit, a process which can take two or three weeks to complete. Regardless, Australian peach suppliers remain confident they will receive the green light to start airfreight shipments in time for the all-important Chinese New Year trading period.

Cherries

The deal arguably represents the most significant market access win to date for Australia’s cherry industry.

Along with recognising a number of cherry production hubs as pest free areas, growers on the Australian mainland will be able to send their fruit directly to China via airfreight for the first time.

The protocol requires all mainland cherries grown outside recognised pest free areas to undergo methyl bromide treatment prior to export.

“We would love a non-treatment or irradiation protocol, and we will continue to campaign for improved market access, but we can make it work with methyl bromide,” said Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) chief executive Tom Eastlake. “We will see shipments under this protocol for sure.”

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