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Historical document

Citrus study tour to Fruit Logistica, 2012 (CT12703)

Key research provider: BJ & JA Young
Publication date: December, 2012

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

This project comprised of a nine-day study tour of Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong which incorporated wholesale and retail market visits in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou. In addition participants had numerous meetings with Australian based exporters and Asian based Importers. Participants were able to track the supply chain of their produce and in a couple of instances, see it sold to the end consumer. Participants were able to inspect the quality of both their own and their competitors produce and packaging.

Industry significance:

  • Increase the knowledge base of the producer to gain first hand experience of the Asian market and new technology within the industry.

Key outcomes:

  • Discovered that the boxes the fruit were packed into were subject to collapse and deterioration, particularly on the first couple of layers. This was due to a combination of factors including poor quality boxes and poor quality stacking, however the main contributing factor was the heat and humidity in the Asian countries. Fruit was taken from a cold room into ambient air for wholesale and retail marketing. The amount of moisture generated on each piece of fruit was amazing. Water literally runs out of the bottom of the boxes
  • Discussions with Importers and observations at wholesale markets re-enforced the importance of branding. We saw evidence (in China) of many different producers fruit re-branded into a competitor’s box, which had a stronger brand.


  • Branding was critical; if an organization was able to establish a recognised brand it will do better than its competitor
  • Fruit quality was still a key factor in succeeding in the Asian marketplace.
    Packaging was very important, poor quality packaging leads to lower prices and or fruit being re-packed into other boxes.

Recommendations for future R&D: 

  • More study tours for producers; the value gained by participants in this study tour was immeasurable. Participants have a much greater insight to the Asian Marketplace and were able to discuss their observations and learning’s with their peers.

Recommendations for practical outcomes to industry:

  • Fruit quality was still a critical factor, with better quality fruit selling quicker and increasing demand
  • Packaging was very important, producers needed to strive to ensure that their produce was correctly packaged to last the journey and stand up to the humidity in Asian countries
  • Branding was critical; buyers were looking for brands.
Related levy funds

0 7341 3029 5

Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of BJ & JA Young.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2013. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).