With the Australian table grape season in full swing, efforts are being made to boost trade relations with a key Asian market.
Three growers from the major Sunraysia production hub travelled to Vietnam from 28 February to 1 March as part of a trade mission hosted under Hort Innovation’s Taste Australia banner.
The growers were joined by representatives from peak industry body the Australian Table Grapes Association (ATGA) and a delegation from Austrade for the trade activities, which were held in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Hort Innovation acting trade lead, Dianne Phan, said Vietnam was currently the seventh largest importer of Australian table grapes.
“Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce,” Phan explained. “Moving forward, we expect that we will be able to produce more of the grapes that Vietnamese consumers love.”
During the visit, ATGA CEO Jeff Scott presented an industry update, providing key partners with a seasonal overview of the 2019 crop forecast and future crop yield projections.
Scott took the opportunity to highlighted several new Australian-grown varieties coming into production for export this year, including Sweet Nectar, Sweet Sapphire, Pristine Seedless, Long Crimson, Cotton Candy and Melody Seedless.
“Many growers have planted new varieties in large numbers under commercial licences and have commenced exporting,” Scott said. “If any variety proves successful or demand is high from importing countries, additional plantings will take place to satisfy demand.”
Scott said Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless were still expected to be Australia's main export varieties.
“As an industry, we are seeing year on year growth in table grape exports and this is a very pleasing outcome for growers.”