First Australian avocados land in Japan
Government officials from both sides were in attendance, along with Japanese importers and retailers as well as industry representatives from Hort Innovation and Avocados Australia.
A new protocol signed in May allows the export of Australian Hass avocados grown in Queensland fruit fly-free areas to Japan.
Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said the new trade agreement was "very exciting news for the Australian avocado industry", and acknowledged the cumulative hard work by all agencies involved in making the trade agreement possible.
"It is very exciting for the industry that we can now add Japan to our exclusive list of export destinations for our top-quality premium Hass avocados," he said.
"The industry in Australia is growing rapidly and we are very confident that Australia will be producing about 115,000 tonnes of avocados per year by 2025. This is 50 per cent more than our current production, and expanding our domestic and international markets is essential."
Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said Australia has built a solid reputation for its premium quality fresh fruit and vegetables.
"Table grapes and citrus fruits are already established export products in the Japanese market and their market success has demonstrated a willingness by consumers to pay a premium price for high-quality produce," he said.
"Japan is wholly dependent on avocado imports for their national supply. Until now, their avocados were predominantly sourced from Mexico and to a lesser extent, Peru, the US and New Zealand."
He added that introducing Australian avocados into the marketplace offers Japanese consumers "a point of difference to their current supply" and will strengthen trade ties with local exporters.
"We are confident that this new market access opportunity will enhance trade relations with Japan, and in time, open up market access for other premium fresh fruit and vegetable items," he said.