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Historical document

Citrus to China - 20,000 tonnes by 2020 (CT13507)

Key research provider: Citrus Australia Ltd
Publication date: 2014

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Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.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?

The China market at the time was undoubtedly one of the greatest marketing opportunities ever presented to primary industry in Australia. As the peak industry body representing the Australian citrus industry, Citrus Australia had taken the lead in preparing our industry for this opportunity by securing an Asian Century Business Engagement grant from the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade). This grant was matched by levies from orange growers administered by Horticulture Australia Ltd.

The goal of this project was to educate and train the citrus industry on the China market potential, challenges, regulations and cultural differences.

Working together with China specialist David Thomas from Think Global, we presented China marketing sessions at two major industry forums, and followed these up with exporter training workshops for businesses looking to enter the China market for the first time.

A very successful high-level trade mission in November 2013 to four Chinese cities was attended by 24 industry delegates, many of whom had since begun trading citrus into China in the 2014 export season. This mission led to a reciprocal in-bound mission in June 2013 by the China Agricultural Wholesale Markets Association, and a Memorandum of Understanding being signed between CAWA and Citrus Australia.

An innovative intern program was started with service provider Zookal, in which Chinese students studying in Australia were placed in export businesses. The interns and companies were pleased with the outcomes of this program, and Hort Innovation (then HAL) hoped to continue it in future seasons.

To help promote and facilitate the trade with China, Hort Innovation (then HAL) produced a DVD, brochures and web pages. This material had ‘gone viral’ in China, with many trade websites, bloggers and online sellers using aspects in their promotions. It was not unrealistic to claim that many millions of online viewers in China had been exposed to our Sweet, Safe & Healthy core message embedded in all this material.

We were confident that the citrus export target of 20,000 tonnes to China encapsulated in the title of this project will be reached much sooner than 2020 – and this project played a significant role in expediting that achievement.

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