Expanding the state’s blueberry and cherry exports

12 Oct 2017

Imported cherries displayed in China fruit market

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) officers have gone global to explore export market opportunities for the state’s blueberry and cherry industries.

DPI Director International Engagement Ian Sanders said DPI staff joined local growers on the visit to Indonesia, China and Hong Kong to better understand opportunities in both sectors.

“Australia’s clean, green, quality food production means we are in the prime position to promote our safe products and to drive increased export market access into Asia,” Mr Sanders said.

“International demand for NSW blueberries and NSW cherries is growing in the Asian markets. Trips of this nature allow industry representatives to understand market expectations and evaluate the potential opportunity for their product.”

DPI Blueberry Development Officer, Melinda Simpson said a key step would be increasing consumer demand in Indonesia by highlighting the health and nutritional benefits of blueberries.

“Currently the United States and Chile are sending bulk blueberries to Hong Kong, but there is potential to increase the export of Australian blueberries in the future,” she said.

DPI Development Officer Temperate Fruits, Adam Coleman said NSW cherry producers can also take advantage of the Indonesian market with an increased demand for premium fruit at peak times such as Christmas and Chinese New Year.

“In 2015-16 NSW exported a total of 1043 tonnes of cherries valued at $8.7 million, which is 11 per cent share of the Australian cherry export value. The top three destinations of NSW’s high quality cherries were Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China,” Mr Coleman said.

“The DPI is working collaboratively with the cherry and blueberry industries to identify and expand export markets and to achieve market access protocols to benefit our local growers.”

Following the trade delegation tour, DPI is developing new export readiness workshops to assist blueberry growers to understand the processes required to get high quality fruit exported.

The workshops will be held later in the year and will cover issues such as a business plan, fruit quality, protocols for end point treatment, packaging and labelling.

The NSW north coast accounts for more than 90 percent of Australia’s blueberry production, valued at around $200 million.

Media contact: Anne Brook (02) 6763 1163 or 0477 358 305