Study tour to Singapore and Malaysia incorporating the 7th International Pineapple Symposium (PI10001)
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What was it all about?
A group of eleven Australians (ten growers and one extension officer) travelled to Singapore and Malaysia to gain an insight into the import/export, marketing and value-adding of pineapple and to attend the 7th World Pineapple Symposium, visit farms, fruit packing facilities, a research station and a value-adding factory.
In Singapore discussions were held with an Austrade official, a fruit importer and a market agent and the group visited the Pasar Panjang fresh fruit markets and a range of supermarkets. The group found that the quality and standard of MD2 fruit arriving from Dole in the Philippines was very high and that there was a wide variety of value-added, convenient, semi-processed pineapple products available in the supermarkets.
The International Pineapple Symposium held in Johor Bahru, southern Malaysia was attended by over 400 delegates from 16 countries and the tour group was able to learn the latest developments in R&D and maintain and expand a valuable network of growers and technical people from around the world.
The Malaysian government was committed to expanding and developing their pineapple industry and was putting significant resources into R&D and export development. They were very determined to export fresh and semi-processed pineapple to Australia, the latter permitted since April 2010. Furthermore, they were starting to switch over to varieties (especially MD2) that were more productive and appealing to consumers. They could have been a serious competitor in the Australian market.
Although much of the Malaysian pineapple industry was on peat soils where the potential to mechanise was virtually non-existent this was offset by low labour rates.
Malaysia was very advanced in the development of value-added pineapple products. They had an impressive array of pineapple-derived products ranging from ‘high fibre’ biscuits and deep fried dried pineapple chips to clothing material.
It was recommended that Australian growers continued to attend world pineapple symposia to keep up to date with developments in the international industry, learn about the competition, make new contacts and maintain existing ones.
The findings of the tour were reported to others in the Australian industry by means of a detailed illustrated report, a presentation at the annual industry field day and through presentations and discussions at the pineapple growers’ regional study group meetings.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Quadrant Australia Pty Ltd.
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