Fruitnet continues its series of exhibitor spotlights from Asia Fruit Logistica with a look at Australia and New Zealand. During the trade show, the Fruitnet team spoke to some of the region's leading players about key developments and future prospects.
T&G Global (New Zealand)
T&G Global unveiled a new look for one of its core categories at Asia Fruit Logistica. The leading fresh produce marketer has consolidated its global table grape programmes under the Orchard Rd brand. T&G showcased bunch bags with the new branding at its stand, which is shared with parent company BayWa. Grapes will be sold under the label in markets across Asia from late September. Gareth Edgecombe, CEO of T&G Global, said the company had been working closely with growers from the US, Peru, Chile and Australia for several years, trading under various brands across several markets and was now ready to catapult its success in sales and marketing to the next level. Edgecombe expects the company’s global premium-branded grape sales to grow substantially over the coming years as it looks to replicate the global success of its premium apple brands Envy and Jazz with the Orchard Rd brand, which has already proven successful in the Australian market with products like kiwifruit and blueberries.
Sweet Potatoes Australia (Australia)
Having built market share in the Middle East, Sweet Potatoes Australia is now turning to export opportunities in Asia. “You can never have enough customers on the list,” explained global sales and distribution manager Allan Mahoney. The company, the largest producer of sweet potatoes in Australia, already exports to Hong Kong and exhibited at Asia Fruit Logistica for the first time with the ambition of increasing its footprint in South-East Asia. Along with fresh product, Sweet Potatoes Australia markets a range of value-added products, including a microwaveable bag containing two sweet potatoes that can be roasted in under 10 minutes. Mahoney said the company is focused on highlighting the versatility of sweet potatoes, both in Australia and internationally. “Sweet potatoes are a versatile vegetable that is full of flavour and packed with nutrients,” he explained. “They can be sliced, diced, pureed, and even juiced to create a huge range of products including french fries, wedges, baby food, soups, dips, crackers, wraps, crisps, and ready-to-eat meals.”
GP Graders (Australia)
GP Graders highlighted its extended capabilities through its new partnership with US-headquartered A&B Packing. Stuart Payne, director of GP Graders, said the collaboration plays to both companies’ strengths, bringing together his company’s grading technology for small fruit produce with A&B Packing’s automated packing material operations. “Both our companies now offer turnkey grading and packing solutions with a strong sales and support team,” Payne explained. GP Graders has also invested in developing its own electronics for its machinery. Payne said the move provides the company with the capabilities to better tailor each installation to each customer’s needs. GP Graders currently has offices in Australia, Chile and Washington State in the US, with plans to open another in California.
The Great Australian Squeeze (Australia)
The Great Australian Squeeze co-exhibited at Asia Fruit Logistica for the first time alongside Eagle Creek Citrus. Using citrus grown along the Murray River, the company currently produces a range of cold pressed orange and grapefruit juices. It plans to move into hot filtered offerings in the near future. While the company has primarily focused on the Australian domestic market to date, its presence at the trade show identified some potential export opportunities. “We’ve had a few Asian buyers come by our stand and comment on how tasty our juices are,” said Emma Salter of The Great Australian Squeeze. “We’d like to explore the opportunity of getting our juices into café chains or restaurants over here [in Asia].”
Mr Apple (New Zealand)
Mr Apple used the trade show to showcase a number of new varieties, along with a popular new member of its team. The company’s ‘Mr Apple’ mascot drew plenty attention to the leading New Zealand grower-packer-exporter’s stand. Appearing at numerous promotional activations in China this year, the mascot has developed into one of the company’s USP’s (unique selling proposition). “There are very few fresh produce brands which also have the potential to be memorable brand personalities,” said Lisa Cork, Mr Apple’s special projects manager. The Mr Apple team also had samples of Dazzle and Posy apples available at its stand, with feedback favorable for the new branded offerings.