Over A$10.5m (US$8.4m) will be spent on boosting Australia’s horticultural trade activities over the next year, complimenting the “biggest ever trade push” in the sector’s history, according to peak body Hort Innovation.
The centrepiece of the trade initiative is the new ‘Taste Australia’ in-market export programme, announced this morning (1 August) by Australia’s assistant minister for agriculture and water resources, Anne Ruston.
Developed in consultation with growers, state and federal government agencies and other trade stakeholders, Hort Innovation chair Selwyn Snell said Taste Australia would share the “unique story” of Australian horticulture products with consumers in current and perspective markets.
“Our country is known for our great lifestyle with our sunshine, appealing farms, beaches and landscapes, all of which is conveyed through this new in-market activity giving international consumers a sense of Australia every time they buy and eat Australian fruit, vegetable and nuts,” Snell explained.
Taste Australia will be officially launched with more than 200 industry representatives at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong next month. The event will kick off a six-month tour of trade show events in Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.
“The focus will be on getting Australian produce and growers, exporters and other industry representatives in front of potential buyers, and building on those networks,” Snell added.
Back home in Australia, Hort Innovation is investing more than A$10.5m in trade-related research and development (R&D) activities over the next 12 months, with areas such as biosecurity, pre-export produce treatments, and supply chain efficiencies to be targeted.
As part of this new export push, Hort Innovation has worked with industry members to set trade targets, which were developed based on future production forecasts, industry capacity and demand from the growing middle class across Asia.
This includes increasing the value of the country’s vegetable exports 40 per cent to A$315m (US$253m) by 2020, and investing an estimated A$31.48m (US$25.17m) over the next five years into avocado R&D. Exports are set to account for 10 per cent of Australia’s total avocado sales volumes by 2021.
Cherry exports will leap to 12,000 tonnes by 2020/21 under the new trade targets, an increase of 340 per cent on the 2015 levels.
The olive category will be offered continued support to establish and grow high-margin export opportunities in China and Asia, while Australian strawberry exports are expected to jump from 4 per cent to at least 8 per cent of the national production volume by 2021.
An interview with Hort Innovation’s trade general manager Michael Rogers on the launch of Taste Australia appears in the July/August edition of Asiafruit.