Australian citrus stars at Asia Fruit Logistica

Australia’s citrus growers received praise for their fruit at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica.

More than 200 delegates represented Australian horticulture under the Taste Australia banner at a trade fair in Hong Kong on September 5-7.

Hort Innovation’s trade events manager, Julie Willis, said 65 per cent of those delegates walked away with 50 new contacts, and 22 per cent 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,” said Willis.

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Roughly 50 per cent of attendees have estimated that they will receive $250,000 in immediate sales as a result of being there, and more than 30 per cent 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.

Nutrano executive general manager for Southern Farming, Richard Byllaardt, said he’s been attending for nine years and it just keeps growing.

“Our intense orange coloured fruit is outstanding, especially in comparison to the fruit coming in from South America,” said Byllaardt.

“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,” he said.

“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,” said Byllaardt.

This was the second year that Australia’s horticulture industries attended under the Taste Australia brand.

Willis said Taste Australia is giving a clear, distinct brand that shows unity.

“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,” she said.

“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,” said Willis.