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Completed project

Tropical fruit export strategy (MT17002)

Key research provider: McKINNA et al
Publication date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What was it all about?

This investment was tasked with developing individual export strategies for a range of tropical commodities including banana, papaya, passionfruit, persimmon and lychee, feeding into an overarching export strategy for Australian tropical fruit.

The Banana Industry Export Market Development Strategy was released during May 2018, with its top-level overview of trade opportunities and considerations available from Hort Innovation here in a brief market mapping report.

Some quick takeaways:

  • The best opportunity for Australian banana exports is with differentiated products, with potential opportunities around flavour and nutritional claims; organics; eco-friendly messaging; ethical, fair trade messaging; value-added pre-packs (such as tropical gift packs, children’s snack packs); branding such as dipping and tattoos; and new varieties.

  • Even highly price-sensitive markets have niche markets for ultra-premium, differentiated products.

  • Challenges include an underdeveloped export supply chain, with the industry currently largely focused on servicing the domestic market.

  • The market mapping acknowledges that, realistically, Australia is not price competitive globally with Cavendish bananas by a significant margin compared to the dominant players of Ecuador and the Philippines. However, the report shows there is a period from March to July when prices in potential target markets spike due to reduced supply from the main supply countries – a window that coincides with a period of peak supply in Australia, when domestic market prices are significantly lower.

See the market mapping report for other information, including insights looking at Japan, Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand and China (subject to market access).

Following the market mapping findings, the next steps involved Hort Innovation working with industry to determine the appetite for levy investment in the export space and to subsequently roll out any trade-related R&D activities.

Related levy funds

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