Australia has enjoyed a surge in citrus exports to Japan this year, according to Judith Damiani, chief executive of peak industry body Citrus Australia.

Damiani attributes the growth to a reduction in exports from South Africa, the quality of the current harvest, and the third year of tariff reductions established through a free trade agreement with Japan.

“Japan is a mature market and we are not just supplying fruit, we are now strengthening our levels of engagement to assure we continue to grow that relationship,” Damiani explained. “Our Japanese partners are keen to hear about future growth, as well as potential issues, and we will be open with them.”

Damiani and Citrus Australia’s market access manager David Daniels were in Japan this week, meeting with key members of the Japanese industry and viewing in-store promotions for the Now in Season! campaign, with the aim of ensuring future marketing programmes are effective in supporting growth in this key market.

Damiani said these discussions with Japan could prove to be a pilot for other markets, including China. The Now in Season! programme is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia and the Victorian Government.