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Completed project

Australian citrus industry innovation and market development program (CT15012)

Key research provider: Citrus Australia
Publication date: Friday, December 7, 2018

What was it all about?

This project, which ran from 2016 to 2019, supported a range of personnel to help develop a globally competitive and well-informed citrus industry that can reliably supply product that satisfies market requirements. These personnel included:

  • A market development manager (MDM), to help facilitate reliable supply, overcome market challenges and identify new opportunities. Activities of the MDM include the coordination of exporter groups, trade missions, crop forecasting and biosecurity work.

  • A market access manager (MAM), to help the industry overcome barriers to trade. Activities of the MAM include updating the industry’s export strategy plan and export manual, working with stakeholders to improve phytosanitary protocols, and advising on Free Trade Agreements.
  • A market information manager (MIM), to engage all value-chain participants to capture and disseminate timely information on supply, market conditions and shipping movements.

There were many aspects to this project team’s work including…

  • Setting market access priorities and working to achieve them over the life of the three year project. Many of the objectives were met or advanced considerably. Notably, improvements to the access conditions for export to China were achieved in 2017, with the market in mainland China now valued at over $160 million.

  • Facilitating trade by assisting overseas authorities to make the audits and pre-clearance activities they required to approve market access for Australian citrus. The project team also assisted growers, packers and exporters by providing advice on phytosanitary, food safety, chemical residues and tariffs. The assistance proved successful with no market problems occurring over the three-years.

  • Collecting data on citrus plantings with the annual tree census providing the foundation for an export registration system for the industry, as well as allowing businesses to make informed decisions about redevelopment, expansion or investing in new equipment.

  • Development of the online export registration system has proven highly successful, speeding accreditation for businesses by several months. By the end of the project, 742 orchards (11,620 hectares) were registered for export.

  • Collecting shipping data each week throughout the season was another valuable dataset funded by the project that provided exporters with an indication of supply volumes into key markets. This has allowed exporter groups to share intelligence and discuss pricing in export markets.

  • Assisting growers in the transition to the new retail food safety requirements required a significant amount of effort to ensure that growers are prepared for new standards that are on the way.

  • Ensuring acceptable residue levels are met by Australian citrus growers. In conjunction with CT15016, an agrichemical residue monitoring program was established which saw maximum residue limit tables researched and published twice a year. The team found no major residue violations in any export market. This work helps to maintain Australia’s reputation as a producer of good quality citrus, which assists with market access negotiations. Access to effective agrichemicals was also boosted by the team through this project.

  • Regional committees and special purpose committees (e.g. export, domestic, agrichemical) provided the means for regular exchanges of information between industry, Citrus Australia, Hort Innovation and government. In addition to helping growers and others in the industry to collaborate, the committees provided expertise on matters such as market access, biosecurity, agrichemicals, marketing, R&D, plantings, and crop forecasts.


You can access production data produced by the project via the InfoCitrus database here.

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund