AS THE Australian table grape export season commences, Australian growers head to Vietnam to boost trade relations.
Three key growers from the Sunraysia region, which is responsible for around 99 per cent of table grape exports, representation from the Australian Table Grapes Association and a delegation from Austrade, will be on the ground in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from February 28 to March 1 to spruik the premium product.
Hort Innovation acting trade lead Dianne Phan said Vietnam was currently the 7th largest importer of Australian table grapes.
“Vietnam is a key exporting country for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to educate and promote Australian grapes to Vietnamese consumers,” she said.
“Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce.
“Moving forward, we expect that we will be able to produce more of the grapes that Vietnamese consumers love.”
Australian Table Grapes Association CEO Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year such as; Sweet Nectar, Sweet Sapphire, Pristine Seedless, Long Crimson, Cotton Candy and Melody Seedless to name a few.
“Many growers have planted new varieties in large numbers under commercial licences and have commenced exporting,” he said.
“If any variety proves successful or demand is high from importing countries, additional plantings will take place to satisfy demand.”
Mr Scott said Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless were still expected to be Australia's main export varieties.
“As an industry, we are seeing year on year growth in table grape exports and this is a very pleasing outcome for growers.”
Mr Scott will present an industry update during the trade activities in Vietnam providing key partners with a seasonal overview of the 2019 crop forecast and the 5 to 10-year crop yield predictions.
He will also provide more information about the systems Australian industry have in place to continually maintain Australia’s clean, green and safe reputation.