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Australian vegetable exports on the rise

Peak body says certain considerations make it difficult to measure export growth against fruit sector

Ausveg, the peak representative body for Australian vegetable and potato growers, says the progress its members have made in growing exports over recent years should not be overshadowed by comparisons with the value of Australian fruit exports.

Global Trade Atlas data has shown the value of Australian vegetable exports grew 2 per cent to A$252m in 2017.

Ausveg believes the industry is well placed to meet its goal of growing export revenue to A$315m by 2020.

While it might seem easy to assess the performance of vegetable exports against fruit exports, Ausveg’s national manager – export development, Michael Coote, said there were certain considerations that made this comparison problematic.

“Fruits are a higher value export group than vegetables as they are more seasonal commodities and can command higher prices from importing countries during their seasonal windows,” Coote explained.

“Vegetables, on the other hand, are a more consistent annual product group and tend to fill gaps in regions that are not so lucky to have year-round vegetable production like we do with most vegetable commodities in Australia.”

Coote said market access was another contributing factor.

“A number of different Australian fruits have had success growing their export trade into China, while Australia does not yet have access into this market for most vegetable commodities,” he explained.

“Despite these challenges, the industry has increased its focus on boosting the value and volume of its vegetable exports, with work being undertaken by Ausveg, Hort Innovation and other groups in building the exporting skills of Australian growers and providing opportunities to build relationships with foreign buyers.”

Carrots were Australia's best performing vegetable export in 2017, with shipments totalling 110,000 tonnes at a value of A$91m.

Together with onions and potatoes, carrots currently account for over 60 per cent of total Australian vegetable exports by value and over 80 per cent of vegetable exports by volume.

“The Australian vegetable industry is experiencing solid growth in its exports, particularly on the back of strong performing products such as carrots and broccoli to the Middle East and Asia,” Coote said.

“The industry is well on its way to reach the ambitious target of A$315m in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry’s export strategy. We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and knowhow to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown vegetable produce.”

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

Author: Matthew Jones

Australia and Victoria seed potatoes gain market access to Indonesia

Certified seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria have been approved for market access to our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, at recent bilateral trade discussions held in Melbourne.

Market access to Indonesia enables certified seed potato growers in South Australia and Victoria to supply the Indonesian market with potentially 85,000 tonnes of certified seed potatoes with a market value of $AUD110m annually.

The agreement signed by Australia and Indonesia is the result of a near decade long collaboration between industry groups (ViCSPA, Potatoes South Australia), certified seed potato growers, exporters, state and federal governments and Indonesian agencies. The result is a win for certified seed potato growers and is a demonstration of what can be achieved when strong relationships and collaboration is built between industry and government, at all levels.

The Seed Certification Scheme operated by ViCSPA provides complete traceability and documented evidence which supports the high health status of certified seed potatoes produced in South Australia and Victoria. The ViCSPA Seed Certification Scheme is on par with the world’s best and the ViCSPA Board has invested heavily in developing robust database management systems which underpin the certification scheme to trace all seed plots submitted for certification.

The robustness of the ViCSPA seed certification scheme has been integral to this pursuit and subsequent success of new markets such as Indonesia. The ViCSPA scheme has highly trained certification officers for crop inspections and uses modern crop monitoring systems to certify seed potato crops. Indonesian officials audited both the ViCSPA seed scheme and the seed production areas. It is gratifying that they were impressed with the comprehensiveness and professionalism of the ViCSPA Seed Certification Scheme and the quality of the seed potatoes that are the result of the strict protocols adhered to.

The Chair of ViCSPA, Kay Spierings said, “ViCSPA is delighted that as an independent, industry based organisation, ViCSPA continues to be recognised as a leader in seed potato certification. The export potential of the Indonesian market is significant and we look forward continuing our strong collaborative relationships to build further opportunities for our growers.” Dr Nigel Crump, General Manager, ViCSPA said, “On the back of the recent success, ViCSPA will continue to strive for excellence in our seed certification program to maintain existing markets and pursue new markets. Recently, with a grant from Agriculture Victoria, we have developed a geospatial software tool that has been integrated with the existing seed potato certification database”.

“Importantly, the collection of geospatial data that relates to the field used to produce seed potato crops enhances the evidence of data that is required to support market access and subsequent trade”, he added.

For ViCSPA, the long history of soil sampling and laboratory testing all fields used to produce certified seed for pests and disease such as Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) and the ongoing leaf testing program for monitoring levels of Potato Virus Y were critical in securing market access to Indonesia. Surveillance of this type provides strong evidence to support claims made on the supply of high health certified seed potatoes.

Robbie Davis, CEO Potatoes South Australia stated that the industry was thrilled at this long-awaited protocol and that it provided a valuable new market. She said, “Of critical significance, the high quality of seed potatoes and professional approach by seed potato growers in South Australia and Victoria were major contributing factors in securing the trade. Strong collaboration has been key.”

It is envisaged that there will be an ongoing exchange of knowledge and capacity building between Australia and Indonesia and plans are already underway for ViCSPA to run pest and disease workshops in Indonesia later this year. It is important that the Indonesian and Australian potato industries work together into the future to continue to foster ‘business-to-business’ trade and improve potato production in both countries.

For for information:
Dr Nigel Crump (ViCSPA)
Email: nigel.crump@vicspa.org.au
Tel: +44 3 5962 0000


Publication date: 3/7/2018

More than just chat—Australia sprouts new market for seed potatoes

Seed potato producers in Victoria and South Australia have market access to Indonesia.
• The protocol was signed at a bilateral forum in Melbourne yesterday.
• Only Western Australian seed potatoes previously had access, and Victoria and South Australia are major seed potato producers.

More than 300 seed potato farmers across South Australia and Victoria will be celebrating after today’s breakthrough in securing new market access to Indonesia.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said delivering this market access would provide opportunities for seed potato farmers to now compete in premium markets with the best produce the world has to offer.

“Agricultural trade is a priority for the Coalition Government and we are delivering, not just sitting around like couch potatoes on this issue,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The export protocol has been on the boil for a while and today we finally got it over the line - this will take an industry with a current production value of $520.3 million, to new heights.

“Today’s signing paves the way for trade in seed potatoes from Victoria and South Australia to commence as soon as possible, whenever farmers are ready.

“This is a fantastic result for farmers in these two states—as major seed potato producers—and builds on current seed potato access for Western Australia.

“Australia and Indonesia have a strong bilateral partnership, with two-way trade worth $4.28 billion in 2016-17 in agriculture alone.

“Australia is a trading nation and we continue to support our farmers as they sell our premium produce for premium prices to overseas markets.”

The Coalition Government has secured free-trade agreements with three significant export markets—Japan, Korea and China—and just signed the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement and recently concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

• Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, we are investing $30.8 million to break down technical barriers to trade, and appointed five new agricultural counsellors in key small markets.
• In the agriculture portfolio since January 2016, we have had 64 key market access gains or restorations, along with 57 key market access improvements or actions to maintain market access.
Megan Dempsey
Assistant Media Adviser
Office of the Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
P 02 6277 7630 M: 0491 222 306 E: megan.dempsey@agriculture.gov.au

Horticulture production rises remain on track, according to quarterly figures

Figures released for the December quarter have confirmed that the gross value of horticultural production remains on track to pass $10billion dollars in 2018.

The Agricultural commodities report released by ABARES has estimated production across the major fruit and vegetable categories will continue its upward trend in terms of value increasing from $9.99billion to nearly $10.3billion in the 2017-18 financial year. Both vegetables and fruit and nuts are on track to be worth $4.1billion each, while table and dried grapes are set to increase from $364million to $374million.

This comes on the back of an increase in production which is forecast across the major categories. Potatoes are expected to rise from 1,295 kilotonnes (kt) to 1,385 kt, and onions are set to rise by 22 kt this financial year, and tomatoes 11 kt. In terms of fruit, bananas will rise by 28 kt according to the ABARES data, and oranges will be up from 395 to 418 kt. However, some produce lines are tipped to reduce slightly, including apples which will fall by just 2 kt, while carrot production will decrease by 4 kt.

Horticulture exports are tipped for another major rise in value, jumping from $2.5billion to $3.1billion. According to ABARES fruit exports should increase in value from $1billion in 2016-17 to more than $1.3billion in 2017-18, while tree nut exports look set for a rise of $310million. Vegetable exports will also rise, but by a much smaller margin of just $10million.

The increase in exports will continue to be led by the Chinese market, with the value continuing to increase from $260million to $341million in the next financial year. Fruit exports into the country are expected to again rise dramatically from $187million to $258million. Tree nuts and vegetables will also have slight increases in value.

The value of exports into Indonesia looks set to fall in this financial year by just over $13million. It is a similar story for the United States, with a significant drop in the value of tree nuts from $82.1million to $43.3million leading to an overall decrease of Australian horticultural produce into the country. However strong exports across all three categories (fruit, nuts and vegetables) means the value of exports to is Japan expected to rise from $178million $212million.

The full report can be viewed here

Publication date: 12/12/2017
Author: Matthew Russell
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Japanese sweet potato varieties in demand in China

"Every year, Hainan sweet potatoes are planted in August. The crop is ready for harvest around the Spring Festival, which is considerably earlier than sweet potatoes from Northern China. The supply generally last until the middle of June. Our early availability is giving us a competitive advantage compared to other production regions," explains Mr. Wu Fengyao from the Dongfang Fengzaibao Sweet Potato Farmers Cooperative.

"The cold weather that occurred earlier this year affected the growth of sweet potatoes across China. Hainan, fortunately, has been less impacted by this weather. Our output has decreased 10-20% compared with last year. Currently, our sweet potato season nearing its ends. Our sales have almost doubled and our market reach grew."

"The cooperative was founded in 2009. We have registered our  brand under the name Gandi Yuan. We grow sweet potatoes on 65 hectares. We will add an additional 35 hectares this summer. Half of these bases will be used for planting Qingxiang sweet potatoes, a Chinese variety, and the other half will be used for Japanese sweet potatoes."

"The main variety we grow is the Japanese sweet potato. We purchased a small volume of seedlings from a Japanese company located in Hainan province. In addition, we purchased large amounts of Chinese sweet potatoes seeds from two local scientific research institutions. Compared with Chinese sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes are sweeter and tastier."

"At this stage, our sweet potatoes are mainly sold through the traditional way of selling to domestic cities, such as Shanghai city, Jiangsu and Zhejiang province. We use a combination of organic manure and organic fertilizers. This year we plan to build our own packaging factory. We have no in-house transportation services and we cooperate with external logistics companies. "

Wu Fengyao
Dongfang City FengZai Bao Sweet Potato Farmer Cooperatives 
Tel: +86 13807660393
E-mail: 1029432693@qq.com

Source article: http://www.freshplaza.com

Date published: 10 June