March 26, 2013
A 10 PER cent increase in apple and pear exports to Asia is the aim of the newly formed, Team Australia. Led by Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Team Australia will work under a collaborative model to achieve export success over the next three years and create new market opportunities for Australian apple and pear growers. APAL hosted the first Team Australia meeting in January which included representatives from Lenswood Cooperative, Batlow Cooperative, Craig Mostyn, Newton Brothers Orchards, Montague Fresh, Holman Fresh, N&A Group and Jeftomson. APAL managing director Jon Durham said the Team Australia model encourages co-operation among industry in order to build a consistent and long-term supply of quality fruit for export. In addition to exploring opportunities in Asian markets, the group will continue to supply existing clients in the United Kingdom. “Growers from across the country are encouraged to speak with a Team Australia representative for further information on how they can supply fruit for export markets,” Mr Durham said. “Australia has a good record of export success however, in recent years export volumes have dropped significantly for a variety of reasons. “Aside from the challenges associated with export, it is essential that Australian industry makes a committed effort to rebuild our export trade for the long-term viability of our industry.” Team Australia is a Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) funded initiative of APAL and the DPI Victoria part of a three year Asian Export Market Development joint project. The group’s focus will initially be on exporting Pink Lady apples and will look to export other apple varieties and pears as relationships and opportunities develop.