U.S. sells first cherries to Western Australia
In a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, the USDA claimed it was the first fresh U.S. fruit to gain access to the state's market, arriving Jul. 13.
Californian cherries have had access to Australia's eastern states since the late 1990's, while cherries from the Pacific North West (Washington and Oregon) have been shipped since 2001.
"Since that time, negotiations have been ongoing between USDA, Biosecurity Australia and the WA state government for access to WA, who maintain their own quarantine regulations which have been very difficult to overcome (and also restrict product coming from eastern Australian states)," the report said.
"It is expected that this development will result in additional shipments this season valued at (US)$200,000-300,000 (as the season is already underway). For the longer term, the WA market should be worth at least (US)$1-2 million annually, based on the history of growth in other Australian states.
"Western Australian consumers have fewer fruit choices in winter (during the U.S. supply season), because the very stringent WA state quarantine barriers.
Western Australia has around 10% of Australia's population and has a very strong local economy driven by the mining sector. Australia as a whole is now the U.S.' fifth most valuable cherry export market.