Exotic tropical fruits to win over Australian tastebuds

NORTH Queensland producers of exotic tropical fruits are being invited to an industry workshop to develop plans to one day make fruits such as rambutan, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, sapote and abiu common in Australian households.

The Queensland Government’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) is working with producers to improve industry supply chains and meet the needs of this growing market.

DEEDI urges producers, wholesalers, provedores, chefs and other members of the food industry to participate in an upcoming Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia (TEFA) workshop at Mission Beach on 29 March.

DEEDI principal extension horticulturist, Yan Diczbalis, said the workshop invites all members of the food industry from wholesalers to chefs to attend the workshop at Mission Beach on 29 March.

“The workshop will take stock of the industry as it stands at present and explain the need for strategic planning and discuss how the present supply chain works and the opportunities for new linkages.”

Diczbalis said rambutan, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, sapote and abiu combined were worth about $10 million annually to the Queensland and Northern Territory economies.

“We have identified these fruits as offering the highest commercial potential as their popularity continues to grow,” he said.

He also said the project primarily looked at domestic markets, but export market opportunities would be explored as well.

The Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia Strategic Planning and Supply Chain Workshop will be held at the Mission Beach Resort conference room, Wongaling Beach Road, Mission Beach on Monday 29 March 2010, starting at 8 am.

People wishing to attend can book through DEEDI’s South Johnstone Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture (07) 4064 1130 or contact Yan Diczbalis on 0407 120 779 for more details.

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