Melon

Backing Aussie rockmelon on the world stage

Media Release
Minister David Littleproud
Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources

The Coalition Government is providing a grant of $100,200 to help the melon industry get back on its feet after the February 2018 listeria outbreak.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the outbreak on a single melon farm was a tragedy which resulted in six deaths in Australia.

“What happened earlier this year was absolutely tragic,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The human cost was huge for those who ate those melons and for the families and friends of those who died.

“The outbreak gutted the industry hurting farmers thousands of kilometres from the source.

“Industry estimates it cost about $60-million because growers couldn’t sell their fruit and had to leave it on the vine to rot.

“Since then the Australian Melon Association and Horticulture Innovation Australia have been working hard to significantly improve on-farm food safety practices.

“Before this outbreak, Australian rockmelons where sought-after internationally, and we are going to help them regain that status.

“Through this funding we are working with the Australian Melon Association (AMA) to re-establish key markets such as Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia.

“This grant will help the melon industry to get boots on the ground overseas with trade visits by teams of expert growers, exporters and food safety scientists.

“It will also help the AMA to develop marketing and communications materials to distribute to export markets, Austrade in-market offices and relevant government and health authorities.

“I congratulate the AMA for being proactive in working for rockmelon growers to get their market share back.”

Dianne Fullelove
Industry Development Manager
Australian Melon Association Inc
Mobile: 0413 101 646
Email: idp@melonsaustralia.org.au

Rockmelon restocked by Australian retailer

The retailer has assessed its supplying farm and is restocking rockmelon, causing uptake for export to New Zealand

Queensland-based rockmelon farm, The Sweet Life Farms Australia, will have its products reappearing on selected shelves in Australia’s largest retailer this week.

The company that is supplying the retailer said the farm had undergone extensive testing and were cleared without a hitch.

“We’ve been in melons thirty years as a wholesaler and been farming from Darwin for ten years without a problem. The Queensland farm has been going for three years and they’ve never had a problem either,” the company’s director told Asiafruit last Friday.

“We’re just walking over rockmelons at the moment,” they said.

A 90 per cent drop in sales has occurred after a string of deaths and illness that resulted from listeria-contaminated fruit grown at Rombola Farms in New South Wales.

“From our point of view, it’s a serious financial issue. But on the other hand, how can we compare to the lives that have been lost? Whether we get past this as a farm or a business is completely different to those who have lost unborn children or loved ones,” said the director.

On the back of being accepted for retail sales domestically, the company has also had an export order from New Zealand.

“Hopefully the international market comes and supports Australian rockmelons again,” they added.

After a brief period where trade barriers were closed for the export of rockmelon to certain countries, uptake has been next to nothing.

“I think everybody is very concerned not knowing where it’s going to end. No doubt that farm stopped production at the end of February but probably because of the failures in the industry there hasn’t been a whole lot of communication going to the importers and now we have this knee jerk reaction to halt all products from Australia.”

The company hopes that after consumer confidence is lifted in Australia, international markets will follow.

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

Free of Listeria - Qatar lab results clear Australian rock melon

The Ministry of Public Health in Doha announced that the analyses of Australian rock melons, which were previously withdrawn from the market, showed that the fruit is free of listeria and any other types of bacteria such as salmonella and escherichia coli.

After receiving a notification that Australian rock melons might be contaminated with listeria, the Ministry detained the next shipment. It has also taken precautionary measures to prevent importing new shipments of rock melons suspected of being unsafe.

According to thepeninsulaqatar.com, the Ministry has stated that it is working with all other stakeholders to ensure the highest standards of food safety are implemented.


Publication date: 3/6/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qatar: Ministry warns against sweet melon

The Qatar Ministry of Public Health has warned against consumption of sweet melon imported from New Zealand and Australia as the fruit is suspected to be contaminated with listeria bacteria.

In Australia, growers and retailers met in “crisis talks” last week as Australian public health authorities urged consumers to throw away sweet melons because of an ongoing Listeria outbreak.

Two people have died in Australia, where the outbreak is linked to a grower in Nericon, New South Wales. Ten people across three states are known to have been infected, including the two who died.

In Qatar itself, according to thepeninsulaqatar.com, it was found that a limited quantity of the suspected fruit was distributed at some outlets on Thursday. The fruit has been withdrawn from the shelves.

The ministry seized the fruit with help of suppliers and outlets. Samples have been taken for laboratory test. The ministry has urged the consumers to return the fruit; if it is consumed and there are any of the following symptoms: high temperature, indigestion or vomiting, consumers should visit a health centre.

Publication date: 3/5/2018
Source: www.freshplaza.com

Melon growers seek 5 international markets with Japan topping the list

Australian melon growers will target Japan and four other key international markets in the industry's first concerted foray into the export arena.

Last year Australian melons landed in 23 different countries, at a value of $24 million USD.

"But that could be the tip of the iceberg", according to global export and market access advisory company APCO, which has completed an analysis to direct the melon industry.

Head of trade practices Danny Burrows said new market access protocols and an increasing appetite for premium quality fruit from Australia were the common denominators in an exclusive list of priority markets to be targeted.

Japan topped the list, which also includes South Korea, Maldives, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Mr Burrows said the motivation to go after these markets was clearly evident, with Australian melons attracting double the price of melons produced and imported from elsewhere.

Room to grow export market
Australian melons currently represent about 10 per cent of the market in Maldives, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

And while in Japan it was only 0.05 per cent, it had the potential to increase rapidly to about 5,000 tons annually within three to five years.

"Only one of the top five, Korea, is currently closed to Australian melons, so in other words, four out of five of the markets are ready to go. We see room to grow," Mr Burrows said.

One notable omission from the list was China, a market Mr Burrows described as a "very big, very lucrative market" for imported melons.

"The bottom line is it is not the right setting for Australian premium melon exports … they're not paying the premium they need to pay for Australians to be tapping into that market in a big way."

Australian seedless melons appeal to Japanese palate
Toshiya Kobayashi, from the market research firm Euromonitor International, has also been researching the attitudes of Japanese consumers to Australian melons, and has told the industry Japanese people would be willing to pay significant premiums for their fruit.

"A lot of Japanese consumers perceive the Australian products more positively… from melons, rockmelons and watermelons, the Japanese really want to pay a high price as long as the quality meets the price," Mr Kobayashi said.

Mr Burrows said it presented a niche opportunity to assist Japan's premium retail channels to differentiate from competitors.

Source: abc.net.au

Publication date: 10/25/2017

Melon growers target new markets as industry seeks bigger slice of exports

Australian melon growers will target Japan and four other key international markets in the industry's first concerted foray into the export arena.

Last year Australian melons landed in 23 different countries, at a value of $US24 million.

But that could be the tip of the iceberg, according to global export and market access advisory company APCO, which has completed an analysis to direct the melon industry.

Head of trade practices Danny Burrows said new market access protocols and an increasing appetite for premium quality fruit from Australia were the common denominators in an exclusive list of priority markets to be targeted.

Japan topped the list, which also includes South Korea, Maldives, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Mr Burrows said the motivation to go after these markets was clearly evident, with Australian melons attracting double the price of melons produced and imported from elsewhere.

Room to grow export market
Australian melons currently represent about 10 per cent of the market in Maldives, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

And while in Japan it was only 0.05 per cent, it had the potential to increase rapidly to about 5,000 tons annually within three to five years.

"Only one of the top five, Korea, is currently closed to Australian melons, so in other words, four out of five of the markets are ready to go. We see room to grow," Mr Burrows said.

One notable omission from the list was China, a market Mr Burrows described as a "very big, very lucrative market" for imported melons.

"The bottom line is it is not the right setting for Australian premium melon exports … they're not paying the premium they need to pay for Australians to be tapping into that market in a big way."

Australian seedless melons appeal to Japanese palate

Toshiya Kobayashi, from the market research firm Euromonitor International, has also been researching the attitudes of Japanese consumers to Australian melons, and has told the industry Japanese people would be willing to pay significant premiums for their fruit.

"A lot of Japanese consumers perceive the Australian products more positively … from melons, rockmelons and watermelons, the Japanese really want to pay a high price as long as the quality meets the price," Mr Kobayashi said.

Mr Burrows said it presented a niche opportunity to assist Japan's premium retail channels to differentiate from competitors.

"It's almost semi-religious. It's certainly deeply cultural in terms of the varieties, the species, the gift-giving culture," he said.

"So we're not looking to displace Japanese melons for the Japanese consumer."

For growers such as Queensland watermelon producer Andrew Martens, who travelled from Bundaberg to attend an export seminar, the promise of a new frontier of export trade was clearly an attractive proposition if supply chain challenges could be overcome.

"We want more customers, we want more people consuming our products," he said.

"It's different to what we're used to in the domestic market, but if they're willing to pay, we're willing to bring the quality through."

Source: ABC Rural By Charlie McKillop

New Zealand lifts temporary ban on Australian rockmelons and honeydew

A temporary import suspension implemented by New Zealand on Australian grown rockmelons and honeydew melons has been cancelled.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and federal member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said quick work following New Zealand concerns about the dimethoate treatment applied to Australian produce had helped to safeguard the future of the $5 million trade.

“I am pleased that the melon industry, treatment providers, along with my department and New Zealand authorities, have resolved any issues so that our growers can continue to provide consumers across the ditch with great tasting melons,” Mr Joyce said.

“Just as we expect other countries to respect our biosecurity conditions, so must we respect theirs when we seek to export our agricultural products.

“It’s important to remember that, although New Zealand put a temporary suspension on imports of rockmelons and honeydew melons from Australia treated with dimethoate, the trade in melons to New Zealand was able to continue from areas free of fruit fly.

 
source: northqueenslandregister.com.au via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 6/15/2017

Image: Pixabay Brett_Hondow

Melon growers look to Asia with one of the best Western Australia harvests in years.

Melon growers in Carnarvon, 800 kilometres north of Perth, have touted the 2017 mid-year season as one of the best seasons in years.

Carnarvon fruit grower Graham Kuzmicich, alongside his brother Anthony, have been growing melons in the Gascoyne since taking over the family farm about 25 years ago.

Mr Kuzmicich said he had seen some great melon seasons in that time, but with consistent and favourable weather conditions this mid-year season is his "best result for quality, quantity and price for quite a while".

"I think we're about 20, 30 per cent up on yields," he said.

"I've changed my fertiliser program a little bit with some more organic matter and I think it's definitely helped with the uptake of nutrients from the ground."

In addition to the increase in yields, Mr Kuzmicich said prices were also above average, largely due to Cyclone Debbie.

"Somebody's loss is somebody else's gain, unfortunately for them," Mr Kuzmicich said.

"We went through it a few years ago, we had the cyclone and the flood within a five-year period, which was tough for us, and I know what they're going through."

Asia in sight

In an effort to increase their sales volumes, Graham and Anthony Kuzmicich have been looking to Asia to market their fruit.

Mr Kuzmicich says it has been a "bit of a tug-of-war" with the price, however he is now sending a few thousand trays of melons to Singapore each month. "Our local distributors in Perth do a great job, but the Perth market realistically is quite small, so we feel that we have to source other avenues," Mr Kuzmicich said.

The Kuzmicichs have been sending a few thousand trays of melons each month, and achieving supermarket shelf prices double that of Australian prices.

Graham Kuzmicich said, while the shipments had been small, he had sourced another supplier and this year's quantities would be substantial.

However despite attracting a premium price for his fruit, Mr Kuzmicich said the freight cost shipping melons to Singapore was more than seven or eight times higher than to Perth.

"The transport to get to Singapore we can do it two ways, you can either do it by ship or by air freight.

"Obviously air freight's a lot more expensive than going with a ship, but they prefer it to go by air freight so trying to organise the right company at the right price [is a challenge], because it's very expensive per tray to export."

After relative success in the Singaporean market, Mr Kuzmicich has set his sights on expanding further into Asia, and believed there were opportunities for other growers around the state.

"We're maybe going to look to Japan, which I think Western Australia should be looking at, not just with melons but with a lot of fruits and vegetables, so that's something we might look at for our next growing period in November, December."

Source: ABC Rural - WA Country Hour Author: Michelle Stanley

Image: Pixabay ImagesBG

Help sought for Aussie melon exports to Japan

Australian Melon growers want more assistance from the government in exporting their fruit to Japan.

An agreement was reached regarding market access last year, opening the door for the Australian product to be sold in the Asian country. So far a small number of shipments have been made, but the Australian Melon Association said growers have been unsuccessful in obtaining federal funding to expand their opportunities.

"It's not a matter of opening up a market and saying here it is," Industry Development Manager Dianne Fullelove said. "Growers need to understand what that market is and what the supply chain is like. At the moment we are struggling with applications to the Federal Government. We were just recently knocked back for funding by the Free Trade Agreement trading provider grants. So for our industry it's about how we can give growers more knowledge."

But the AMA says demand for Australian melons in Japan is huge. A grower recently took part in a fresh food trade mission to the Asian country to meet with representatives from the importing and retail sector, and received overwhelming feedback on Australian melons.

"They like the fruit to be very sweet," Ms Fullelove said. "So we are conscious of what varieties that we send, so they are super sweet. From what I can understand, they like to deal with Australians. They find us good to work with, I think they like the image of our growing systems - the clean-green. They do already get melons from other countries, but they are quite keen to take them on from Australia."

Domestically production is starting to pick back up as the southern harvest finishes and Queensland and Northern Territory start their seasons.

"The price has been quite decent at the moment which is good for growers, but there is plenty of supply as well," Ms Fullelove said. "It's quite a normal season at the moment. With the watermelons, the new product coming on the markets from the north will be good quality, so that's something to look forward to."


For more information
Dianne Fullelove - Australian Melon Association inc.
Phone: +61413101646
idp@melonsaustralia.org.au
www.melonsaustralia.org.au

Publication date: 5/3/2017
Author: Matthew Russell
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Image: Watermelon_pixabay_stux

New Zealand suspends imports of melons treated with dimethoate

Rockmelon_pixabay

The Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has released an Industry Advice Notice (IAN) advising that New Zealand has suspended imports of Australian rockmelons and honeydew melons that have been treated with dimethoate. This suspension is effective immediately.

Summary of changes and key points:

  • The New Zealand National Plant Protection Organisation has advised that, effective immediately, they will no longer be accepting consignments of rockmelons or honeydew melons that have been treated with dimethoate. 
  • The suspension includes consignments that are currently in transit. 
  • The department will not be issuing certification with EXDOC endorsement 1646 for rockmelons or EXDOC endorsement 3576 for honeydew melons.
  • Exports sourced from pest-free areas are still permitted.

source: foodprocessing.com.au via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 4/12/2017

Image: Pixabay Brett_Hondow

West Australian melon producer going for year round production

Rockmelon from Flickr_News21

It was a wet start to the melon season in Western Australia but, according to Dane Capogreco, Sales & Marketing Director at Capogreco Farms, based in Hamel, near Perth in Western Australia, it is much better now.

"We are still in the first third of the season, it has been wet but it's good now. When its wet you need to keep on top things, as the melons start to mature faster than they normally would. The season is looking good and so is the quality."

Capogreco Farms grew 10,000 tonnes of melons last year - rock, honeydew and watermelons - Dane reckons this year it will be a similar volume. "This year we are working with a couple of growers in Carnarvon, which is further north, in order to extend the season from our production in Broome. At the moment it is on a trial basis on a couple of hundred acres, but if these new growers come on board then we will be able to supply our customers year round."

The season in Broome is January to May and the addition of melons from Carnarvon would fill the rest of the calender.

Most of the company's melons are exported to the Middle East and Asian markets, they expect to export around 90% of the volume this year.

"There are a lot of big growers who supply the local markets and it can become a bit crowded there so we decided to target the export markets," explains Dane. "This season Japan has opened up for Australian melons offering a whole new opportunity for us. The Japanese prefer the mid-size range of melon and as with other fruits the quality must be high for this destination."

Capogreco Farms also trial a lot of different varieties, this year they have 160 different varieties on the go. From that 160 there might be two which get taken to the next stage. According to Dane, the qualities they are looking for in new varieties are sweetness and appearance.

For more information: Dane Capogreco dane@capogreco.com
www.capogreco.com

Publication date: 3/2/2017
Author: Nichola Watson
Source: www.freshplaza.com

Image source: Flickr News21_national