The Australian federal government says the country's horticulture industry is embarking on the biggest trade drive in its history, and will now have added support to make ambitious export goals a reality.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston today launched the trade push complete with the new ‘Taste Australia’ brand and increased trade shows, as well as funding for research and development and getting farmers ready to export.
"Our horticulture industry today made a bold statement about its intent to seize the opportunities global food demand presents,” Minister Ruston said of the trade push, which is being coordinated by industry group Hort Innovation.
“Global food demand alone will require a 75 per cent increase in world food production by 2050, compared with 2007 levels.
“In China, food consumption is projected to more than double between 2009 and 2050. Much of this demand will be for the high-value, high-quality produce Australia is known for."
Ruston highlighted the new brand and export campaign would be to promote premium Australian produce overseas.
"This brand promotes our longstanding reputation for quality produce, the cleanliness of our environment, the desirability of our lifestyle, and the trust that can be placed in our commercial supply chains and biosecurity," she said.
“Hort Innovation will invest in more trade shows and growers and industry representative participation in overseas promotional activities, under the Taste Australia banner.”
Australia’s horticulture exports reached record levels of AUD$2.6 billion (US$2.08 billion) in 2015–16, and are forecast to continue to increase to AUD$3.3 billion (US$2.64 billion) by 2021–22, supported by new and improved market access the Coalition Government has secured.
Promotion and trade fair push, R&D details
In a release, Hort Innovation chair Selwyn Snell said the potential for growth was significant given Australia’s solid
reputation for producing high-quality produce, wide untapped opportunities, and the industry’s appetite for
"Australia is known for delivering high-end produce that has undergone the most rigorous food safety inspections along all stages of the supply chain,” he said.
“We want to build upon that. The first way we are doing this is through Taste Australia, which tells the unique story of Australian horticulture products.”
“Our country is known for our great lifestyle with our sunshine, appealing farms, beaches and landscapes, all of which is conveyed through this new in-market activity giving international consumers a sense of Australia every time they buy and eat Australian fruit, vegetable and nuts.”
Developed in consultation with growers, State and Federal Government agencies and other trade stakeholders, Taste Australia will be launched with more than 200 industry representatives at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong next month.
That will kick off a six-month tour of trade show events in Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Snell said this year Hort Innovation will invest 40% more on trade show efforts than last year and growers and industry representative participation in overseas promotional activities will rise by 30%.
“The focus will be on getting Australian produce and growers, exporters and other industry representatives in front of potential buyers, and building on those networks,” he said.
Hort Innovation will also continue to collectively work with a number of Research and Development Corporations including Dairy Australia, Wine Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia to showcase premium food and beverages at events overseas under the "Taste Australia" banner.
Back home in Australia, Hort Innovation is investing more than AUD$10.5 million (US$8.4 million) in trade-related R&D activities over the next year and is set to boost its investment across areas such as biosecurity, pre-export produce treatments, and supply chain efficiencies.
As part of this new export push, Hort Innovation has worked with industry to set trade targets, which were developed in consideration of future production forecasts, building industry capacity and a growing middle class across Asia. A snapshot includes:
• Increase the value of vegetable exports to AUD$315 million (US$252 million), or by 40%, by 2020 through relationship building, working with industry to get export ready, boosting supply chain efficiencies and overseas activities.
• Invest an estimated AUD$31.48 million (US$25.16 million) over the next five years into avocado research and development, to create a potential impact of AUD$212 million (US$169.5 million). By 2021, over 10% of production will be exported to markets that are willing to pay a premium for quality Australian avocados.
• Export 12,000 metric tons (MT) of cherries by 2020-21, an increase of 340% over the 2015 levels. This equates to a 16.5$ year-on-year growth over a five-year period. Industry reports that the bulk of this development is expected to occur in Tasmania and Victoria
• Export 12,000MT of cherries by 2020-21, an increase of 340% over the 2015 levels. This equates to a 16.5% year-on-year growth over a five-year period. Industry reports that the bulk of this development is expected to occur in Tasmania and Victoria
• Increase almond export sales from 64,000MT in 2016 to 110,000MT in 2022 through the development of improved harvesting techniques and pest management, novel technology to reduce labour costs and more.
• In olives, continue to support established and growing high-margin export market opportunities in China and Asia for high-quality olive oil through an anticipated AUD$2.75 million (US$2.2 million) over the next five years in R&D and extension activities.
• By 2021, increase exports of Australian strawberries from four per cent to at least 8% of national production by volume, in selected markets with a capacity and willingness to pay a premium for quality fruit.