$16.5M to bolster Australia’s export reputation in Asia
The grower-owned research and development corporation, Horticulture Innovation Australia, today announced a $16.5M strategy to take the nation’s reputation for delivering premium produce in Asia to new heights.
Being delivered in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF), the national four-year project will explore a tightening of export operations along all stages of the supply chain – from the way produce is packed, to how it is stored, to shortening the time from picking to arriving on supermarket shelves.
Horticulture Innovation Australia chief executive John Lloyd said the initiative will ensure end-buyers are getting the best fruit, vegetables and nut products possible.
“This is an exciting time for Australia’s horticulture exporters. It’s no secret Australian produce is popular in Asian markets because it is recognised as high-quality and safe with a strong aesthetic,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the QLD Government, and industry, to help propel the nation’s export offering to the next level.”
Mr Lloyd said the monitoring of conditions from farm to import customer is rarely done, so this project will help growers better understand the condition of their products on arrival and their products’ ability to withstand in-country distribution to the retailer and consumer.
Over the past five years, exports to Asia – in particular, China, Hong Kong and Japan, have risen by almost 170 per cent.
Queensland DAF project leader, Dr Peter Hofman said Australian growers have a firm appetite to increase export trade and a number of leading producers had already shown their interest in participating in case studies that will be undertaken as part of the project.
“Project partner DEDJTR Victoria will work closely with temperate fruit export chains including stonefruit and table grapes. Montague Fresh is a key industry collaborator working to optimise export chains for fresh stonefruit to new and existing Asian markets, particularly nectarines to China,” Dr Hofman said.
This project is being delivered as part of Horticulture Innovation Australia’s new co-investment initiative addressing key issues facing Australian horticulture industries.
It will be guided by a steering committee including horticulture chain representatives, a Horticulture Innovation Australia representative, research and development specialists, a representative from the China Academy of Sciences, and horticulture agribusiness researchers from two Australian universities.