For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Liam O’Callaghan

BY LIAM O’CALLAGHAN

Persistence pays off for Australian grapes

Japan and Korea are fulfilling their potential for Australian table grapes after years of market development

Persistence pays off for Australian grapes

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Australia’s table grape industry is seeing success in Japan and Korea with six years of market development paying off.

The two counties first opened their doors to Australian table grapes in 2014, when Australia exported 16 containers of table grapes to Japan and one trial container to Korea. By the end of 2019, sales to Japan had grown to A$50.4m (US$35m) and to Korea A$14.8m (US$10m).

Victorian table grape growers and exporters account for over 95 per cent of Australia’s table grape exports and Adam Cunneen, Victoria’s commissioner to Japan and South Korea, said this growth was proof of the industry’s persistence.

“There is a noticeable trend which is offering trade and investment opportunities for Victoria’s agri-sector in North Asia,” Cunneen said.

“The table grape success is a great example of persistence and consistent marketing needed in this region.”

The growth has come as a result the efforts of a number of organisations including the Victorian government, the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA), Horti Innovation and Austrade.

Together they have implemented initiatives such as creating educational materials specifically for importers and retailers discussing the key quality attributes of Australian table grapes.

Point-of-sale materials were also developed to support in-store retail promotions conducted in Japan and South Korea.

Jeff Scott, chief executive of the ATGA, said the support the industry had received, including from the Victorian government was invaluable.

“The support from the Victorian government has enabled the table grape industry grow exports from scratch to almost A$100m (US$69.5m) to Japan and Korea within six years, providing important diversification and growth for the industry,” said Scott.

Most recently in February, the Victorian government facilitated aa visit by South Korean horticulture buyers, food service and wholesale companies to meet with growers in the Sunraysia and Loddon Mallee regions.

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