Industry aims to export 40 per cent of national crop by 2025

Australia’s cherry industry hopes a A$1.2m programme will help it export almost half of its crop within two years.

The initiative will include more than 50 activities aimed at build export capability among Australian cherry growers and minimising trade risks during supply chain disruptions.

The programme will be led by Cherry Growers Australia, with input from industry partners.

“Industry has set an ambitious target of exporting 40 per cent of production by 2025 and this dedicated export programme, with support being tailored to each region, will help us reach that,” said Cherry Growers Australia’s chief operating officer, Andrea Magiafoglou.

“With many cherry growers being export ready, we are now in a position where we can build on our success to be an export-focussed industry.”

Just over 20 per cent of Australia’s total cherry crop was exported in 2020/21, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Key focus areas for the export programme will include emergency response planning, pest and disease management, and data and supply chain traceability. Training workshops and an export helpdesk will also be set up.

New South Wales cherry grower Fiona Hall said fortifying the future of the cherry export trade was crucial for the industry.

“The pandemic has placed a tremendous amount of pressure on cherry growers over the past two years,” Hall said. “This new export programme is indicative of the positive way forward for cherry growers.”

The funding for the programme is being delivered through Hort Innovation, using industry levies and funds from the Australian Government.