Opportunities abound at the Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum
20 March 2018
Continuing to grow markets, particularly in Asia, was the key theme of the Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum in Sydney.
The two-day event, run over 14 to 15 March, saw 180 delegates from around the country hear from expert speakers from across the globe.
Many of the speakers focused on the industry’s Asian export markets, which have driven record Australian citrus exports.
Citrus Australia’s chief executive officer Nathan Hancock said the optimism in the industry was evident throughout the event.
“The Australian horticulture industry exceeded $1 billion in exports in 2017, which was the first time we’ve achieved that in a calendar year,” Nathan said.
“The citrus industry contributed 42 per cent of those exports, which is a remarkable figure.”
He said 91 per cent of Australian citrus exports was traded to 14 countries, of which 12 were in Asia, which underlined the importance for the industry to understand these markets.
Nathan said the Forum speakers helped delegates understand what consumers in these markets want – both in terms of product but also how they prefer to buy it. He said it was also important that the Australian citrus industry continued its work to reduce trade barriers into those lucrative markets.
IP Australia’s Counsellor to China, David Bennett, assured delegates that the Chinese intellectual property (IP) system was stronger than some had been led to believe. He urged businesses to register trademarks early.
Keith Sunderlal of The SCS Group, said the success of the Washington Apple Commission in exporting US-grown apples to India showed it was possible to export premium fruit into the country.
David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food and Marketing at Imperial College London, said citrus could increase its market share globally by offering smaller quantities that appeal to smaller households and positioning fruit as a healthy, convenient snack, for purchase by increasingly time-poor people.
Citrus Australia recognised innovative businesses within the industry that have developed varieties and marketing campaigns that meet consumers’ needs. Craig and Bindi Pressler of 2PH, Helen Aggeletos and Maria Costi from Venus Citrus, and Frank Mercuri and team at Pacific Fresh were presented with a Citrus Australia Supply Chain Innovation award.
In closing the event, Citrus Australia’s new Chair, Ben Cant, said strong biosecurity and food safety regimes made growing export markets possible.
“Retail is changing rapidly, digital is having more and more impact on consumers, we need to evolve, adapt, survive and then thrive in this landscape,” he said. He thanked Giro and edp as major event sponsors. More information