Cherry growers from the Australian mainland have successfully completed their first full season trade via airfreight with China since being granted market access last year.
Two trade events held in Guangzhou and Shanghai last week saw Australian cherry growers and industry representatives celebrate the partnership and share industry insights with key distributor, importer and retail partners.
Around 92% of attendees cited freshness via airfreight as the key reason for purchasing Australian cherries for Chinese consumers, according to Hort Innovation.
The events were hosted under the organization's Taste Australia banner, which serves to promote the freshness of Australia's seasonal fruits nationwide by showcasing the country's environment, growing conditions, production methods and supply chain characteristics.
Australian Cherries were first exported to China in 2013, but until recently access had been limited to fruit from the island state of Tasmania. This was the first time mainland growers had sent fruit to China.
Hort Innovation acting trade-lead Dianne Phan said this season represented a major milestone in trade relations and a win-win for both nations.
“China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner, with the market for Australian horticultural exports to China rising from [AUD]$13 million in 2010 to over $500 million in 2017,” she said.
“Chinese consumers now have access to Australia’s full season of cherry availability. The number and variety of Australian cherries entering China have increased, traders and consumers have more choices, and the supply opportunities for high-quality imported fruits has also expanded.”
Australian cherries are grown across six states, producing around 16,000 metric tons annually. Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania are the largest cherry growing regions and provide complementary supply windows.