ALMOST 200 horticulture industry participants and representatives – from growers to industry bodies, government and exporters – are arriving in Hong Kong this week with one message: The Australian horticulture sector is open for business.
The group will showcase some of the nation’s best fruit, vegetables and nuts at the Horticulture-Innovation-Australia-funded Australia Fresh pavilion at the Asia Fruit Logistica.
Importers and buyers from all over Asia are expected to be present at the three-day event.
Now in its 10th year, Horticulture Innovation Australia Chief Executive John Lloyd said the Australia Fresh pavilion and the nation’s representation has never been so big.
“We have really come a long way. The first year we went overseas with the Australia Fresh pavilion we had 11 representatives and a limited number of displays. Today, we have almost 200 participants – all with a lot to offer importers – and a huge 360sqm pavilion featuring wall-to-wall displays of the finest Australian fruit, nuts and veg,” he said.
“All of this is a testament to the industry for its dedication to promoting Australian horticulture, and driving demand.
“Australia has a reputation around the world for supplying top-quality fruit, vegetables and nuts. Our stringent health and safety standards at every stage in the supply chain are second-to-none.”
Australian horticultural exports hit record levels in 2015, reaching a total of A$2.2bn, up 47 per cent from the previous year.
The strong increase in export value was largely driven by growth in nuts and fruit exports, with year-on-year value increasing by 87 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Hong Kong, Singapore and China are Australia’s most valuable fruit export markets, which collectively account for 45 per cent of all fruit export value.
Fruit exports to China doubled in 2015 to $79m, making China Australia’s second most valuable fruit export market after Hong Kong, up from sixth largest in 2014.
Mr Lloyd said the Australian horticulture industry is looking to leverage off, and build upon existing relationships to bolster those figures even further.
The Australia Fresh pavilion will be officially opened at 3pm on Wednesday, September 7 by guest of honour Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leanne Donaldson, and Horticulture Innovation Australia Chairman, Selwyn Snell.