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Hort Innovation Highlights Successes at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018

September 30, 2018
Andrew D

With representation from over 80 Australian businesses occupying an area of 528m², Asia Fruit Logistica 2018, held in Hong Kong from September 5 to 7, showcased the strong growth of Australian horticulture over the past year and underlined the importance of the Taste Australia campaign in promoting Australian fresh produce exports abroad.

Launched last year at Asia Fruit Logistica 2017, Hort Innovation’s export initiative Taste Australia has enjoyed marked success in its first year. Underpinned by more than $40 million in research and development, Taste Australia is Hort Innovation’s “boldest foreign trade initiative to date” and was developed to construct a coordinated national program to drive and promote exports of Australian horticulture to new and existing markets.

According to Hort Innovation’s General Manager for Trade and Export Michael Rogers, the results for the first 12 months of the campaign speak for themselves. “Through the Taste Australia brand, we are strengthening our homegrown produce on a global stage, bringing high quality, high end premium goods to international markets.” This has led to a record $2.18 billion in Australian horticulture produce exports in the first six months of 2018.

Mr. Rogers also stressed the importance of Asia Fruit Logistica as a venue for connecting with regional partners and forging new relationships. “We have been exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica for more than 10 years. When Taste Australia launched last year, we found it increased our engagement with key stakeholders across Asia.” Taste Australia was rolled out at 10 other trade shows across Asia and the Middle East this past year, with further expansion planned.

Citrus fruit, cherries, and grapes were the main fresh produce drivers behind this growth in Australian horticultural export, accounting for over 40% of the $2.18 billion in exports in the first half of 2018. As of June 2018, 264,000 tonnes of fresh citrus valued $440 million were exported, representing an increase of 48% since June 2016. Of this, oranges ($280 million) and mandarins ($140 million) were the largest citrus export crops. Table grape exports were valued at $384 million, which continues the trend of annual growth witnessed over the last consecutive seven years. 

Hort Innovation’s new CEO Matt Brand also attended the show and gave his vision for what he saw as his mandate for the organization. “My aspiration is for us to help turn Australian agriculture, which includes horticulture, into a $100 billion industry. We will also continue the great collaboration we do with groups like AUSVEG, PMA, and Hort Connections – it would be great to see Hort Connections grow to the size of Asia Fruit Logistica one day.” Mr. Brand’s mandate will also be focused on transforming Hort Innovation into a more responsive and flexible organization that is able to act and respond quickly to the needs of growers, exporters, and the industry at large removing unnecessary red tape and cumbersome bureaucratic processes.


Hort Innovation’s new CEO Matt Brand delivers remarks at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018

 

Hort Connections 2019, a whole-of-industry conference and trade show for Australian horticulture, will be held from June 24 to 26 in Melbourne, Australia with the theme “Growing our Food Future.”

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