INDUSTRY UPDATE

Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s table grape grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • The new table grape Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, with an easy-to-read ‘at a glance’ version and the full PDF document. The SIP was finalised in April after close consultation with growers and other industry stakeholders. It outlines priorities for strategic investment in the industry, and will be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the table grape Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments.
  • The latest meeting notes from the table grape SIAP, which most recently met in December 2016, and is due to meet again during July.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the July 2016 to March 2017 financial operating statement, and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.

Any questions?

As well as the table grape grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Brad Wells is always available to answer questions on the table grape program on 0412 528 398 or at brad.wells@horticulture.com.au. For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Dianne Phan.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Evaluation of dried and table grape varieties (MT15026)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Underway since 2016, this multi-industry project will deliver new grape varieties for both the table grape and dried grape industries. For table grapes, new varieties adapted to local conditions will enable Australia to differentiate its products in international markets, enhance export opportunities and increase domestic consumption. The new varieties will reduce production costs and minimise issues such as berry collapse in Thompson seedless, as well as poor budburst and low fruit bearing in sub-tropical regions. Early and late ripening types, and those with favourable long-term storage and transport characteristics, will also extend the season and provide opportunities to develop new markets.

What’s the latest update? No new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1). At the time of last reporting, for table grapes, recent work in the project had included the establishment of a new regional test site on a commercial property in Emerald, Queensland. Here, 11 promising selections (five white, two red and three black) had been planted as own-rooted vines and also grafted on five different rootstocks (1103 Paulsen, 140 Ruggeri, Freedom, 101-14 and SO4).

Earlier in 2016 there had also been the planting of selections in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. These vines had since been trained and fully established on trellis systems, and were expected to produce significant crops during the 2016/17 season.

These regional test sites will enable the evaluation of the planted selections, to assess their performance in different environments and their suitability to meet specific industry and consumer expectations.

At the time of last reporting, there had also been the grafting of 12 further table grape selections onto Ramsey rootstock across trial plots at CSIRO’s facility in Irymple, Victoria. Establishment of these selections will enable evaluation to be conducted under near-commercial conditions, with promising selections to be included in future regional and commercial test sites.

Across the project’s various trial sites, the researchers reported there had been implementation of vine management strategies to enhance fruit quality of selections. These strategies included gibberellic acid (GA) treatments for berry thinning, rachis stretching and berry sizing; bunch thinning and trimming; and leaf removal in the bunch zone.

Export market access, maintenance, biosecurity and developing export markets for the Australian table grape industry (TG14000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? This project aims to improve and maintain market access for Australian table grapes in overseas markets. A key focus is direct engagement with growers and exporters to develop export readiness and industry knowledge, and engagement with existing, new and potential markets and importers.

What’s the latest update? As reported in the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1), activities under this project that continue to develop export readiness for table grape growers include the delivery of export protocol workshops and training. New online, self-paced training on pest-monitoring, for example, is being rolled out in the coming months.

There is also the continued delivery of tools, such as the industry’s new online export registration and mapping system. Available at www.australiangrapes.com.au/export-registration and continuing to be enhanced, the online system enables growers to register table grape properties for accreditation to export to Asian markets, replacing the old paper-based registration and accreditation process.

Other project activities include:

  • Developing an export manual
  • Organising and coordinating strategic importer tours
  • Provision of market intelligence and export statistics to growers
  • Market-access activities, such as industry participation in strategic meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and relevant state government authorities, as well as attendance at strategic trade shows such as Asia Fruit Logistica and the China Fruit and Vegetable Fair at the end of 2016. The table grape industry also had a presence at the Gulfood expo held in Dubai at the end of February.

Australian table grape industry communications project (TG15008)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Established in 2016, this project continues to maintain and improve communication to Australian table grape growers and other industry stakeholders. By keeping the industry up-to-date on R&D and marketing activities, news, events and other critical information, its ultimate goal is to help the industry tackle issues, and to support decision-making and the uptake of new research and technologies within table grape businesses.

What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:

  • Quarterly magazine The Vine, distributed to industry stakeholders and also available online at www.australiangrapes.com.au/the-vine-magazine (The Vine is a joint magazine between the table grape and dried fruit industries)
  • The Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) website, www.australiangrapes.com.au, which is updated regularly
  • Regular e-newsletters from ATGA
  • ATGA social media channels including Facebook, Twitter (@ATGAHortnetwork) and LinkedIn
  • Annual grower forums and other industry events.

Table grape industry minor use program (TG16000)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the table grape industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.

Other R&D projects of note…
  • Horticulture trade intelligence reporting 2017-2019 (MT16011), a new project to provide easy-to-read and easy-to-act-upon trade performance information to Australia’s horticulture industry. Quarterly reports will be made available for download through the Hort Innovation website, with the first table grape report expected to be made available on the table grape grower page in the near future.
  • SITplus: Developing and optimising production of a male-only, temperature-sensitive-lethal, strain of Qfly, B. tryoni (MT13059), which is developing a ‘temperature-sensitive lethal, male-selecting’ strain of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly). To put simply, the research will allow for male-only, sterile fruit flies to be bred in large numbers. It is one of the key projects in the broader strategic co-investment SITplus initiative that’s tackling the issue of Qfly. The male flies are to ultimately be released in growing regions of south-eastern Australian that are affected by Qfly. They will come to outnumber the wild male population in these areas and by mating with wild females – and limiting the opportunity for wild males to do so – they are intended to lead to the collapse of wild Qfly populations. The table grape industry is one of several involved in the project.
  • Cold disinfestation verification trials for table grape access to Japan (TG11013), which has recently concluded. Results will be shared with industry as they become available.

Table grape levy investment in strategic partnership projects…

What are ‘strategic partnership’ projects?

Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative is responsible for developing collaborative cross-industry projects with the aim of finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the future of Australian horticulture. These projects are funded via a combination of Australian Government investments (at least $20 million annually) and co-investments that are brokered and managed by Hort Innovation (including from research institutes, commercial partners, individual levy industries and more).

How is the table grape industry involved?

Table grape levy is co-invested in Asia Fruit Logistica (AM16007), a project that’s part of the strategic partnership Asian Markets Fund. In November, it will take the Australia Fresh brand to Hong Kong for Asia Fruit Logistica, a leading trade show attended by more than 11,000 top decision-makers from over 70 countries. Australia Fresh represents the multi-industry export-market-development program for fruits, nuts and vegetables. Its pavilion at Asia Fruit Logistica is expected to be a major drawcard for buyers. For 2017, activity will also include an insights marketing tour, networking events, business matching events and more.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the table grape marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption. Recent marketing efforts have included…

‘Tams Gold’ launch in Korea

In April, a trade event was held in Korea for the launch of Australian green grapes (Thompson seedless) rebranded as ‘Tams Gold’ – with the new name devised to promote the product in a more consumer-friendly way. Sixty guests, including local fresh produce importers, wholesalers and retailers, were invited to hear about the new brand.

The Tams Gold name is the combination of two words: ‘Tams-rubda’ and ‘gold’. The definition of ‘Tams-rubda’ is attractive, nice and ripe, and delicious-looking. Combined with the word ‘gold’, the new name aims to convey a message to Korean consumers that Australian grapes are attractive, delicious and like the land they’re from. They’re pure, full of flavour, and bursting with natural goodness you can taste in every mouthful.

By the end of April, there had been 30 pieces of media coverage on the table grape promotion with more expected, as well as nine additional postings from online influencers who attended the event.


Table grape - TAMS GOLD launchThe Tams Gold launch in Korea


Domestic social media activity

The consumer-facing Australian Grapes Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AustralianGrapes/) continues to engage consumers with fun messaging – creating interest and appetite for Australian table grapes. One of the most popular posts in recent times has been a cheeky video relating to Australian grapes coming back in season, which has reached more than 575,000 people. The video has been viewed well over 142,000 times and has been shared by 135 people into their own social media channels.

Domestic advertising

From December 2016 until April, Australian Grapes ran half-page ads in FRESH Magazine, which is published every Tuesday in The West Australian.

Designed specifically for the Western Australian market, and with a readership of 283,000 people, FRESH Magazine is dedicated to food, wine and dining-out, and includes recipes, new products and restaurant reviews/profiles. Results for this activity will be reported on in the next edition of Hortlink.


Table grape - WA advertisingAustralian Grapes domestic advertising material


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