LPG Cutri Fruit Global sends successful trial shipment of peaches and nectarines under new protocol
Australian stonefruit exporters have jumped at the opportunity to supply Vietnam after a new market access protocol was finalised in February.
The industry regained access to the key market after seven years, right as the 2021/22 season was winding down. Still, exporters were eager to test the new protocol and LPG Cutri Fruit Global was one of five growers approved to export fruit and test the protocols on behalf of industry.
Frank Frappa, executive general manager – international sales of LPG Cutri Fruit Global and Summerfruit Export Development Alliance board member, said consumers were eager to try the fruit and its shipment of peaches and nectarines, which were quickly snapped up in Vietnamese grocery stores in March.
“Our peaches and nectarines were very well received by our retailer and their customers,” said Frappa. There was lots of excitement around the launches and consumer orders were strong.”
Frappa said the Vietnamese market held plenty of potential, especially for an Australian industry looking for new opportunities.
“The market access to Vietnam opens another export destination for Australian summerfruit growers. There are 100m consumers in Vietnam – it will be a rewarding market.
“Vietnamese consumers love large, sweet fruits and the Australian industry does a great job of growing it. Many of us have been exporting to China for several years. To have another strong Asian market available to us is absolutely fantastic.”
LPG Cutri Fruit Global worked with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) organise the first shipments. The agency provided market insights and introduced the company to potential customers
“Because we couldn’t travel due to the pandemic, Austrade met and spoke to customers on our behalf,” said Frappa. “They know who the real players are. It was a great help and gave us a solid foundation in the market very quickly.”
One of these customers was a premium fresh fruit importer with 50 stores in Vietnam. It placed an order for 400 trays of peaches and 200 boxes of nectarines. Frappa decided to travel to Vietnam at the same time as the fruits’ arrival in the market in mid-March.
“I only gave the Austrade team 72 hours’ notice, but they jumped straight into action,” said Frappa. “They set up meetings with importers and retailers, recommended hotels and accompanied me to some of the meetings.”
Frappa attended two official product launches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City hosted by the premium retailer. He also visited the company’s warehouse and stores.
Frappa has also been working with Austrade to expand LPG Cutri Fruit Global’s sales in Japan. The company has been exporting citrus and grapes to the market for three years and wanted to expand its presence.
“Austrade did a great job introducing us to new customers,” said Frappa. “Last year we started exporting citrus fruits to a major importer. This year, we are shipping grapes to another big importer. We’re stoked to have our fruits available at some of Japan’s premium retailers.”
LPG Cutri Fruit Global continues to work with Austrade to enter other markets, including Thailand.