Delegates at the 2019 Juice Forum in Griffith in June.
24 June 2019
Citrus Australia is forming a market development project for the juice sector as part of its juice committee’s objective to drive returns to over $420/tonne for growers. Citrus Australia formed the juice committee, comprising growers and other industry stakeholders, this year to harness experience and knowledge needed to develop export markets and improve juice quality. Growers at the 2019 Juice Forum, attended by 120 people in Griffith on June 12, led a discussion, facilitated by Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock, on what the Juice Committee should prioritise. “The feedback was invaluable as we need all stakeholders to work together if we’re to expand the Australian juice industry,” Mr Hancock said. The Juice Committee will focus on: • Better statistics and more reporting of the world market, imports and exports of juice • Clearer labeling for consumers • Testing, standards and a code of practice for processors • Improved extraction and better capture of value from processed fruit • More markets through export development There is an opportunity for Australia to capitalize on consumer trends towards chilled, fresh juice, both domestically and internationally. Sales of reconstituted juice, heavily exported from juice giant Brazil, are declining. Mr Hancock told delegates at the Juice Forum that Nielsen Homescan data reveals chilled pure orange juice is the main dollar and volume sales growth driver. “More than 80% of total orange juice dollar sales come from chilled, flat growth for shelf-stable juice,” he said. “All key performance indicators for chilled orange juices are increasing. In contrast, performance indicators for shelf-stable orange juices are remaining relatively flat. “This provides a potential opportunity for Australia to export high quality fresh juice to Asian markets.” Australian juice imports, from the likes of Brazil, have declined in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, Australian processors have had some growth in exports in 2018 compared to 2017. Grove Juice Managing Director Archer Walters said there was currently an imbalance in global production and trade, with the market, particularly in Asia, looking for reliable supply of high quality juices for retail and food service. Mr Walters said Brand Australia is highly regarded in Asia, and that Australia had to “lead with quality”. “The export market is willing to pay a premium,” he said. Mr Walters said it was important that Australian growers, packers and processors worked as Team Australia to capitalize. “We must confront a range of emergent issues and deal with them together,” he said. An industry strategy to create unity and a sustainable future was critical, he said.