A strong contingent of Australian fruit exporters will be attending Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong supported by industry body Fruit Growers Tasmania

Fresh produce exporters from the Australian state of Tasmania will be well represented at Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) in Hong Kong on 6-8 September with peak industry body Fruit Growers Tasmania hosting a number of companies on its stand at the event.

Peter Cornish, chief executive of Fruit Growers Tasmania, said growers had been investing in production to improve their export offering.

“Next week at AFL we will be accompanied by some of our cherry and apple growers who are investing heavily in fruit production for export,” said Cornish.

“These businesses supply their loyal customers in a range of countries and are seeking to build those relationships at Asia Fruit Logistica as well as foster new ones.”

 Somercotes Cherries is one business that has quickly evolved in recent years. Once a wool and sheep farm, the property in the northern midlands of Tasmania is home to an expanding cherry orchard that has taken the business from farmgate sales to export markets. 

“With the young trees starting to mature it is anticipated Somercotes will expand its production to hundreds of tonnes of large, sweet, dark red, juicy cherries in the coming years,” said Cornish.

Tamar Valley Fruits is part of a larger operation known as Australia Aulong Auniu Wang Group owned by the Chinese business Dashang Group. The company operates large orchards in the fertile Tamar Valley and produces high quality fruit at the right time for the Lunar New Year celebrations. 

“Tamar Valley Fruits has increased its cherry plantings in recent years, invested in orchard rain covers and upgraded its packhouse capability, all to improve its reliability as a premium cherry supplier to Asian markets such as China and Hong Kong,” said Cornish.

Spreyton Fresh is another Tasmanian attendee at AFL. It has a long history in apple production in the Spreyton area in Tasmania’s northwest in addition to a cherry offering it has recently invested in. Spreyton Fresh has rain covers for its cherries to improve the consistency of high quality fruit which it sells into international markets such as Vietnam and Hong Kong. 

Hansen Orchards is a large fourth-generation family-owned operation that exports both apples and cherries to customers around the world.

The business has recently successfully completed the development of a large, high tech packhouse to improve packout quality, and offer a longer shelf-life for its international customers. 

Reid Fruits is another family-owned Tasmanian business attending AFL. The business continues to invest in people, practices and new technologies that support the production of large quality fruit. 

It has a very large cherry orchard footprint with orchards in the Huon Valley, the Derwent Valley and in the southern midlands of Tasmania. Each area has a different microclimate, which ensures Reid Fruits has a continuous supply throughout the harvest season.

Cornish said Reid Fruits had been able to produce 40mm cherries in 2020. “That doesn’t happen every season but it’s a testament to their production techniques and ideal growing conditions”.