Fruit sizing could present a challenge to Australian citrus suppliers targeting the South Korean market this season.
Exports to the Asian nation got underway last week, following the arrival of a South Korean pre-clearance inspector.
“While it is definitely going to be a difficult season to supply the Korean market with larger-sized fruit, we still expect well over a thousand tonnes to be exported,” said Citrus Australia market access manager, David Daniels.
All South Korean-bound citrus exports from Victoria and New South Wales must pass pre-clearance inspections prior to departure. The programme is being run out of Seaway Logistics in Melbourne until August 30.
In a promising sign for the citrus sector, the inspector, Su-Ji Lee, told industry members that Australia’s reputation for growing high-quality fruit was well established in her homeland.
“As an interesting aside, Ms Lee lives on Jeju Island – renowned for some of the best Satsuma mandarins in the world and where growers have got production down to a fine art,” explained Daniels.
“Ms Lee explicitly stated that even though Australian mandarins are not exported to Korea, their reputation for being sweeter and tastier precedes them.”