Grower-owned body Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has announced a new A$16.5m strategy to boost Australia’s reputation as a producer of premium fresh produce.
The four year project will focus on ensuring end-buyers in Asia are seeing the best quality Australian fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Delivered in partnership with Queensland’s Department of Agriculture (DAF) and Fishers, and Victoria’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), the project aims to create efficiencies in export operations from packing to storing to reduce the time between produce being picked and being sold in stores across Asia.
John Lloyd, CEO of Hort Innovation, said that monitoring the supply chain will offer growers a better picture of the condition their produce is in when it arrives in-country.
DAF project leader Peter Hofman said some leading Australian growers were participating in the project as case studies.
“[DEDJTR] will work closely with temperate fruit export chains including stonefruit and table grapes. Montague Fresh is a key industry collaborator working to optimise export chains for fresh stonefruit to new and existing Asian markets, particularly nectarines to China,” Hofman said.
The project is being funded by Hort Innovation, with guidance from industry representatives, university researchers and a representative from the China Academy of Sciences.
Australia exports 10 per cent of its horticultural produce, with shipments to Asia rising almost 170 per cent in the past five years, according to Hort Innovation.