Queensland strawberries could further establishing their presence on Asian supermarket shelves after a successful reconnaissance trip by growers from the Sunshine State.
A delegation of Qld strawberry growers and representatives recently returned from Hong Kong and Indonesia where they visited 17 different retail outlet types.
This included high-end supermarket chain “Great Food Hall” in Hong Kong and “Ranch Market” in Jakarta through to suburban supermarkets and the wholesale market, wet market and local street stores.
Luigi Coco from A&E Coco and Sons, Charmaine Davey from Berry Patch Marketing and Brendon and Ashleigh Hoyle from Ashbern Farms all collaborated to trial exporting strawberries to both Hong Kong and Jakarta.
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Subtropical industry development officer, Jennifer Rowling, together with Clinton McGrath and Bronwyn Ford, both from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, were also part of the delegation.
Chairman of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association and Elimbah grower, Luigi Coco said Hong Kong was a very competitive market with strawberries from USA available in every market type.
“USA strawberries are also available in Jakarta with locally-grown Indonesia strawberries also available,” Mr Coco said.
A number of trials were also conducted exporting Qld strawberries to Hong Kong and the fruit was viewed upon arrival at two import businesses.
“Within 24 hours of picking the strawberries on our farm, they can arrive at the importers distribution centre in Hong Kong,” Brendon Hoyle from Ashbern Farms said.
“The Hong Kong cold chain is very sophisticated and strong relationships between these businesses and the retail and food service industry has been established.”
The supply chain to Jakarta is slightly more complex than Hong Kong with no direct flights from Brisbane currently available as well as the requirement for pest treatment.
Despite these challenges, Qld strawberries were exported and available for purchase by consumers.
Charmaine Davey from Berry Patch Marketing at Wamuran said it was a highlight seeing strawberries from her farm being sold and purchased in Ranch Market in Jakarta.
“The colour and size of the Qld-bred strawberry varieties including Red Rhapsody are very attractive to the consumer,” Ms Davey said.
Organisers said Trade and Investment Qld were very supportive of the project and helpful in establishing business relationships with Hong Kong and Indonesian importers and retail buyers.