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Hort Innovation News and events Media Releases 2024 Developing export markets with a zest for citrus
Media Release

Developing export markets with a zest for citrus

Publication date: 3 March 2024

The Aussie citrus industry is looking to 'squeeze the day' with a push to increase demand for Australian citrus overseas, ahead of significant production gains projected over coming seasons.

Delivered through Hort Innovation and led by Citrus Australia, the $5.3M market development and quality program is ensuring the Australian citrus industry remains well-informed, profitable, and able to supply quality fruit reliably and sustainably to domestic and international markets.

Around one-third of Australia’s citrus crop is grown for processing (juice), one-third is sold domestically for fresh consumption, and one-third is exported to overseas destinations.

The market development program has helped growers meet strong domestic and overseas demand for citrus since 2009, and this next iteration takes a multi-faceted approach that will respond to the dynamic and emerging trends in the global space so that trade is not only expanded but safeguarded.

Hort Innovation chief executive officer Brett Fifield said the program remains a flagship investment for the industry.

"Aussie citrus production is on the rise,” Mr Fifield said. “Our volumes are expected to exceed 1.2 million tonnes within the next five years, from an estimated volume of 750,000 tonnes only a few years ago.

“While there are still opportunities to grow demand in the Australian domestic market, where we can really make a difference is in overseas markets.

"This program is essential to generating demand for Australian citrus, particularly in overseas markets, and ensuring that citrus growers get maximum value for their fresh, nutritious and delicious product.”

Mr Fifield said the program was designed through a collaborative process involving key citrus industry stakeholders.

“This program was co-designed by a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from growers, exporters, packers, researchers and government representatives, as well as Citrus Australia and Hort Innovation. We worked together to build out the program of work to achieve the priorities of Australian citrus growers who contribute around $2.9M in R&D levies annually.”

Areas of focus for the program include technical market access, market development (export and domestic), market intelligence, export compliance, product integrity, fruit quality, sustainability and more.

Citrus Australia chief executive officer Nathan Hancock said the program's aim is to maintain and enhance the markets available to Australian citrus growers.

“Demand for quality Australian citrus remains strong, particularly in export markets,” Mr Hancock said.

“It is critical however that our industry continues to invest and focus on market development with targeted resources such as this program, especially considering the increased supply both from Australia and from other southern hemisphere citrus producing nations.”

More information on the Citrus Market Development and Quality program will be shared with industry members at the Australian Citrus Congress, taking place on the Sunshine Coast this week (March 5-7).

In the year-ending November 2023, the citrus industry exported $534M AUD and export volume increased 15 per cent to 269,000 tonnes. Key export markets include Japan, Greater China, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea.

Media Manager
Lauren Jones
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