Summerfruit Australia CEO John Moore says the industry is excited to see how its white nectarines stack-up on Chinese retail shelves.
With the national stonefruit season now underway, Moore said over 5,000 tonnes of Australian nectarines would be exported directly to the Chinese mainland market for the first time.
"Chilean white nectarines will also be sold in China and we see this as our biggest competitor,” Moore explained. “However, for the first time ever, Australia is making white nectarines available on supermarket shelves. This will be a brand new consumer experience for mainland China and we're excited to see how it goes."
If all goes well, mainland China is expected to join the industry's existing key export markets – Hong Kong, the Middle East and Singapore – which currently receive more than 10,000 tonnes of fruit annually.
“A major driving force in our export success is Australia’s clean, green image and food safety standards. Consumers demand premium, high quality and healthy products and Australian branded items are well received at the top end of the market,” Moore said.
Following more than a decade of negotiations, Chinese authorities granted market access to Australian nectarines in May. In doing so, it became the first major new market to grant access to the Australian stonefruit industry since exports to Canada commenced in 2000.
The Australia domestic market remains the industry’s largest, with more than 80,000 tonnes of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines consumed locally each year.