Study tour to position Australian avocados into new export destinations, Europe, July-August 2008 (AV08032)
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What was it all about?
A market study tour group from the Sunshine Coast’s own Sunfresh Marketing Cooperative Limited visited key avocado and other tropical fruit import and distribution companies in UK and Europe.
Led by Sunfresh Chairman, Brian Prosser, the group investigated the commercial reality of Australian avocados being freighted by sea to UK/Europe during Australia’s peak production period from May to September annually. “This export of our surplus fruit would lessen the pressure that high production volumes place on the Australian markets which reduces grower returns during that period to uncommercial levels” Mr Prosser said.
“Australia had the potential to deliver up to 1 million trays of Avocados to UK/Europe in 2009 and the importers have indicated that the UK/European market would welcome Australian clean and green fruit”.
Mr Prosser reiterated that in June and July this year, Sunfresh led a trial to establish the ability of fresh green avocados to withstand the sea voyage of some 40 days duration to that part of the world and then be able to remain fresh and sound during the distribution and retailing period. “Sunfresh had just received the final technical and scientific quality reports from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries staff who monitored the trial” Mr Prosser said. “The results were outstanding, leaving no doubt that Sunfresh had the knowledge and the capability to deliver Australian fruit to UK/Europe market place in prime condition”.
The future viability of the Australian avocado industry may have rested with the success of the Sunfresh Marketing Group initiative, both in their trial shipment and their establishment of supply relationships with major importers dominant in the UK/Europe market places at the time. An initial shipment of avocados was being scheduled at the earliest possible times, with main stream supply commencing in the new 2009 season.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Sunfresh Marketing Co-op.
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