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Australia strengthens trade ties with Vietnam through table grapes

Released at: 14:00, 28/02/2019

Australia strengthens trade ties with Vietnam through table grapes

Photo: Le Diem

As the Australian table grape export season commences, Australian growers are in Vietnam to boost trade relations.

by Le Diem

Key growers from the Sunraysia region in the state of Victoria (which is responsible for around 99 per cent of table grape exports), representatives from the Australian Table Grapes Association, and a delegation from Austrade are in Hanoi on February 28 and Ho Chi Minh City on March 1 to promote the premium product at the Australian Table Grape Trade Promotion Seminar 2019.

Hosted by Hort Innovation Taste Australia, the marketing activity aims to cement existing trade relations and develop new and exciting partnerships. Hort Innovation acting Trade Lead Ms. Dianne Phan said Vietnam was currently the seventh-largest importer of Australian table grapes. “Vietnam is a key exporting country for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to educate and promote Australian grapes to Vietnamese consumers,” she said. “Over the last four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce. Moving forward, we expect that we will be able to produce more of the grapes that Vietnamese consumers love.”

Meanwhile, Australian Table Grapes Association CEO Mr. Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year, such as Sweet Nectar, Sweet Sapphire, Pristine Seedless, Long Crimson, Cotton Candy, and Melody Seedless, to name just a few. “Many growers have planted new varieties in large numbers under commercial licenses and have commenced exporting,” he said. “If any variety proves successful or demand is high from importing countries, additional plantings will take place to satisfy demand.”

Mr. Scott said Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless were still expected to be Australia’s main export varieties.

He also provided more information on the systems the Australian industry has in place to continually maintain Australia’s clean, green, and safe reputation and he also predicted a record 20 per cent increase in the volume of the crop yield this year. “As an industry, we are seeing year-on-year growth in table grape exports and this is a very pleasing outcome for growers,” he said.

Australia is well-known for high quality fresh grapes, thanks to its favorable weather conditions, effective irrigation systems, and advanced technology. There are approximately 1,000 table grape growers throughout the country. The majority of table grape farms are family-owned and operated. Table grapes are produced in all Australian states, with the majority in Victoria.

There are about 170,000 tonnes of fresh grapes produced in Australia each year on average and about 62 per cent is exported to 42 countries and territories around the world. Asia is a key export market, thanks to its close proximity. Imports from China, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand accounts for some 78 per cent of all exports of Australian grapes. 

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