Citrus Australia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese Agriculture Wholesale Market Association (CAWA) on Tuesday night, to strengthen trade relations between the two nations.
“We’re delighted,” said Citrus Australia’s chief executive Judith Damiani. “The MoU is a strategic alliance which provides benefits to members of both associations – and a first for Australian agriculture.”
Zengjun Ma, president of CAWA, China’s largest agricultural distributor representing around 70 per cent of China’s fruit and vegetable trade, welcomed the agreement.
“The prospects are very good because Australia has such vast land and China has huge demand for Australian produce,” said Ma in a press release, adding Australia’s premium produce and counter-seasonality made it an important source of fresh fruit for China.
A CAWA delegation of 21 members visited Australia for their inaugural trip, visiting wholesale markets in Sydney and Melbourne before touring orchards and packing facilities in Mildura and Renmark.
Australian citrus exports to China were valued at A$21m in 2013, with Citrus Australia expecting that figure to double this year.