HONG Kong was given a hearty “g’day” as more than 200 Australian fruit, vegetable and nut producers and industry representatives attended one of the world’s biggest horticulture events, Asia Fruit Logistica 2017.
The delegates were there to showcase their produce at Asia’s largest horticulture trade show, marking the beginning of a six-month tour across Asia and into the Middle East.
The group – which comprises the industry’s biggest trade delegation yet – joined Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) in officially opening the new Taste Australia pavilion at Asia Fruit Logisitica earlier this week.
Over the two-day event, the group gained exposure to 11,000 top trade decision-makers from 74 countries.
HIA chief executive, John Lloyd, said the group was showcasing more produce than ever with a record number of growers and industry representatives.
“Our Taste Australia pavilion at Asia Fruit Logistica is huge – it is 30 per cent larger than last year at close to 500sqms,” Mr Lloyd said.
“And the upcoming six-month trade tour to events in Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo is going to be massive.
“On top of all of this, Hort Innovation’s investment in research and development to support trade activities – from market access, to export readiness to supply chain efficiency work – is unprecedented with $10.5 million in projects currently underway this year and a host more in the pipeline.”
Mr Lloyd said Australian horticultural product exports had tracked strongly over the past year with macadamias up 66pc, table grapes up 53pc, mandarins up 54pc and oranges up 40pc.
He said through Taste Australia, the nation’s produce will be positioned as a high-end, high-quality offering that is supported by technology, science and innovation.
“We are taking a loud and clear message to importers throughout Asia and the Middle East: Australia has plenty of premium, high-quality produce, and we are open for business,” he said.
To facilitate long-term relationships, growers were introduced to key decision makers from nine key Asian markets through invitation only business matching sessions managed by HIA with support from Austrade.
Among those in attendance were growers, exporters and service providers from all states and Territories in Australia – including regions such as the Sunraysia, the Adelaide Hills, the Goulburn Valley, South Western Australia and North Queensland – as well as nine industry bodies and collaborative industry groups like Fruit Growers Tasmania.
Taste Australia was launched domestically in Sydney last month as part of Australian horticulture’s biggest trade push in history.