Australia’s citrus growers received praise for their fruit at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica, which saw another increase in attendees as more companies recognise the value in exhibiting produce, networking and sharing information. Over 200 delegates represented Australian horticulture under the Taste Australia banner at the world’s largest trade fair in Hong Kong on 5-7 September. According to Hort Innovation’s Trade Events Manager, Julie Willis, 65% of those delegates walked away with 50 new contacts, and 22% with between 50 and 99. “Growers who attend don’t just see existing clients, but they also have the opportunity to meet new clients from across Asia – Taiwan, Thailand, India, the Philippines, you name it,” Julie said. Roughly 50% of attendees have estimated that they will receive $250,000 in immediate sales as a result of being there, and more than 30% are estimating over a million dollars’ worth. Australian citrus had a strong presence this year, with delegates attending from Nutrano, Mildura Fruit Company, Fruit Master and Costa, plus a number of other companies. “I’ve been attending for nine years and it just keeps growing – as does interest in Australian fruit,” said Richard Byllaardt, Executive General Manager for Southern Farming at Nutrano. Australia’s citrus produce earned some fantastic feedback. “Our intense orange coloured fruit is outstanding, especially in comparison to the fruit coming in from South America,” Richard said. “We offered samples for brands like Sunwest and Abbotsleigh and the feedback was that the Chinese delegates loved the sweetness of the Honey Murcotts and the Afourer mandarins were a hit with the Europeans and Americans.” “We’re also producing good sized fruit – not too large or small.” Richard described that the focus is now being placed on increasing the supply of citrus produce to markets that are already established. “At the moment we’re busy building our supply of oranges and mandarins – the markets are there, and they love our product, we’re just not producing enough of it at this stage.” This was the second year that Australia’s horticulture industries attended under the Taste Australia brand, and Julie is pleased with the outcomes so far. “Taste Australia is giving us a clear, distinct brand that shows we’re unified and working together,” she said. “Offshore retailers are seeing that we’ve got a single identity and they’re able to promote that nicely in-store. From a trade perspective, it really is strengthening our messaging and our premium position.” If there is a grower out there who is getting into export and doesn’t want to risk attending or exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica on their own, Julie says that Hort Innovation has a number of options under Taste Australia to support them. “We can help growers by supporting them with the pavilion build and event management prior to the show. While we’re in the country we also provide opportunities to meet and network with potential buyers as well as helping them understand the market by joining the market insights tours and other activities,” Julie said. “It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, there are opportunities for growers at all levels.”
MORE INFORMATION If you’re interested in attending Asia Fruit Logistica 2019 or any other trade shows that Hort Innovation is managing, contact Julie on 0404 392 311.