Australia to remove import permit requirements on certain fresh produce items

Export requirements for the Australian market are set to change at the end of this month for specific fresh produce commodities, with many items no longer needing import permits.

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources published the revised terms late last week, with commodities no longer requiring an import permit (as of June 30, 2017) including:

  • Fresh grapes for human consumption from China;
  • Fresh mango for human consumption from Vietnam and all regions of India;
  • Fresh apricots and interspecific stone fruit hybrids for human consumption from the United States of America;
  • Fresh Agrocybe cylindracea mushrooms for human consumption from all countries;
  • Dried Trametes versicolor mushrooms for human consumption from all countries; and
  • Frozen Cantharellus cibarius and Craterellus cornucopioides mushrooms for human consumption from all countries.

All goods however must continue to meet the import conditions published in Australia’s Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).

In contrast to the previously mentioned goods, as of the same date fresh strawberries from the United States of America will require an import permit prior to the goods being imported into Australia.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Image: Grapes_pixabay-Stevepb


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South Koreans eye Australian citrus

Export programmes underway, as pre-clearance inspector highlights strong reputation of Australian fruit.
Fruit sizing could present a challenge to Australian citrus suppliers targeting the South Korean market this season.

Exports to the Asian nation got underway last week, following the arrival of a South Korean pre-clearance inspector.

“While it is definitely going to be a difficult season to supply the Korean market with larger-sized fruit, we still expect well over a thousand tonnes to be exported,” said Citrus Australia market access manager, David Daniels.

All South Korean-bound citrus exports from Victoria and New South Wales must pass pre-clearance inspections prior to departure. The programme is being run out of Seaway Logistics in Melbourne until August 30.

In a promising sign for the citrus sector, the inspector, Su-Ji Lee, told industry members that Australia’s reputation for growing high-quality fruit was well established in her homeland.

“As an interesting aside, Ms Lee lives on Jeju Island – renowned for some of the best Satsuma mandarins in the world and where growers have got production down to a fine art,” explained Daniels.

“Ms Lee explicitly stated that even though Australian mandarins are not exported to Korea, their reputation for being sweeter and tastier precedes them.”

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Matthew Jones

Image: Pixabay_hans


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Wealth gap causing 'existential crisis' in consumer goods

Rising income inequality challenges business models underpinning entire consumer goods industry, report warns.

Income inequality is creating an existential crisis in the consumer goods industry, a new report has warned, with retailers proving slow to react to shifts in consumer behaviour since the 2008 financial crisis.

The study, entitled ‘Income inequality: an existential crisis in the consumer goods industry’, demonstrates how the widening wealth gap across the world threatens the existence of consumer-focused companies by undermining the buying power of their core middle-class consumers.

Stagnating middle class

“Income inequality is squeezing those in the middle with income rising slower than the goods and services they consume,” wrote business advisory AlixPartners, which presented the report to the Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit in Berlin on 21 June.

“As a result, those in the middle are likely to make more value-oriented choices to change stores, to buy less, or to switch to lower-priced products. Clearly, consumer businesses need to adapt to these trends to stay competitive.”

While income inequality has always existed, with middle-class incomes stagnating in developed markets over the past 20-30 years, the financial crisis of 2007-2008 has intensified the problem.

According to Serbian-American economist Branko Milanovic, this inequality has never been so pronounced since the Industrial Revolution.

Existential crisis

Meanwhile, the rise of social media has publicised the wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots, making the middle and lower classes acutely aware of the elite’s spending habits.

However, as the report says, “when they turn off their screens and look at their own lives, they see nothing but stagnation”. And it is the falling spending of these middles class consumers that presents the greatest threat to the consumer goods industry.

The reasons for this are twofold, according to AlixPartners. Firstly, wealthier consumers tend to save more of their income than middle-class consumers; and secondly, they spend a greater proportion of their income on experiences such as travel and dining than on consumer goods such as fresh produce.

Consequently, the middle demographic represents “the heart of the global consumer industry”, making it “key to its future”.

Rise of the discounters

The 2008 financial crisis triggered the growth of the discount model, as more and more consumers sought out cheaper alternatives, but most of the mainstream retailers were slow to notice or react to the big shifts in income inequality.

In British food and grocery retail this opened the door to German discounters Aldi and Lidl, both of which have seen their sales and market share grow exponentially over the past decade.

Other markets such as France and the US have not yet reached this “tipping point”, but if income inequality trends continue AlixPartners expects to see a spike in shopping at discounters in these countries too.

Challenges for the industry

The core challenges for the mainstream retailers, according to the report, will be to understand changing, and sometimes confusing, customer behaviour; to halt the loss of share, customers and spend to the discount channels; and to tailor a store’s range to the socio-economic make-up of its location.

This last point means striking the right balance between branded suppliers and private label products.

Manufacturers, meanwhile, are having to contend with issues such as the contradictory pressures for SKU rationalisation and proliferation; the loss of share and shelf space to value or private label products; and struggling to gain traction with NPD among consumers with increasing value demands.

Ultimately, the main priority for consumer goods businesses will be to become more consumer-focused in what is an increasingly fragmented market.

Retailers failing to react

Despite some positive moves from retailers to adaprt their business models, a field study conducted by the business advisory in April 2007 revealed that most stores – including discounters, mainstream retailers, and convenience stores – do not rigorously tailor their assortments to local economic conditions.

Examining different retailers’ assortments for ketchup across London, cleaning products across Boston, dried pasta across Frankfurt, and crisps across Mumbai revealed that some retailers offered exactly the same range and mix for both high-and low-income areas. Others offered only a consistent range and only a slightly tailored mix.

‘These retailers – and manufacturers as well – seem to be missing a golden opportunity,” the report’s authors wrote. “As economic shifts continue to squeeze lower and middle class consumers, these shoppers will increasingly turn to private label and discounters. Consumer businesses need to capture that opportunity.”

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Fred Searle

Image: Freepik kstudio

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A$1.3m boost for QLD exports

The Australian state government has announced plans to boost export opportunities over coming years.

Investing in rural economic development and boosting export opportunities are on the agenda for the Queensland government as it announces its 2017/18 budget.

The government will provide A$1.3m over to years to help growers expand their exports, which includes the reintroduction of its ‘Global Markets Initiative’ wit focus on improving international competitiveness and profitability.

Growers will be able to apply for grants of up to A$75,000 to assist in better understand export markets.

The funding for horticultural producers is part of a larger A$5.2m Rural Economic Development package to drive investment, growth and support for rural communities.

Queensland minister for agriculture and fisheries, and minister for rural economic development, Bill Byrne, said that packaging would see the state government work more closely with rural communities to grow economic opportunities.

“The package will see specialised assistance for fruit and vegetable growers to capture new export opportunities, the establishment of a Rural Economies Centre of Excellence and a One-Stop Service to help private sector investors navigate various approval and development processes more quickly in North Queensland,” Byrne said.

Queensland in the largest producer of vegetables, and second largest produce of fruit and nuts in Australia.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Gabrielle Easter

Image: Pixabay_JerzyGorecki

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Maersk now offering trade finance operation for customers

Danish liner company Maersk Line has expanded into the trade finance business by allowing customers to finance their operations as long as they are shipping with Maersk.

The financing scheme works because Maersk has a rich trove of customer information from which to base a decision on the customer's creditworthiness, according to the Copenhagen-based company. This enables companies to manage their shipping and finance needs with one provider, rather than using one vendor for shipping and another vendor—normally a bank—for trade finance, Maersk said.

The service, launched last year in India, has recently been expanded to five U.S. states: Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas. It is also available in Spain, the Netherlands, and Singapore. It will soon be launching in the United Arab Emirates. Maersk plans to expand the offering in the U.S. and Europe.

According to a report yesterday in Global Trade Review, Maersk has about 150 customers and has lent about US$100 million. The company expects that number to hit US$200 million over the next 18 months, according to the report.

source: dcvelocity.com via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 6/19/2017

Image: Wikimedia commons

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China: Australian M7 oranges enter market - Californian cherries enter end of season

This week, the long awaited Australian oranges have started to arrive on the market. Among them are also the early ripe M7 oranges, which reached Shanghai this weekend. Apart from Australian oranges, the sales speed for other oranges has slowed down this week. The prices are also slightly going down. Simultaneously, the Californian cherries are reaching the end of their season. The product quality starts to get unstable, which makes for a chaotic price on the market.

On Thursday, the first two boxes of Australian oranges of this season will be for sale in Guangzhou. The quality of the two boxes is different, but the market did not expect the variable, overall quality. The first box has different kinds of spots on its oranges, but the quality of the second box, on the contrary, is rather good. This is why the sellers have started sales of the first batch of Australian oranges with a price of 330 yuan. This weekend, the first box of M7 oranges will be for sale in Shanghai. These oranges will be from the brand Sunkist. Even though the hardness of the oranges is good, the skin is too thick, and the taste is not good enough. They are very different from the advertised sweet M7 oranges. That is why the price will not be very high. Right now, it is around 300 yuan. More than half have already been sold.

This week, Shanghai has also received the first box of 2PH oranges from the Australian brand Afourer. 2PH oranges have a great reputation in China, but in the past few years, Honey Murcott has been exported more. This year, the Chinese market has confidence in the seedless Afourer oranges. The Afourer oranges of this first box have a rather sour taste, but sellers are already setting a price of 280 yuan (10kg), and they are selling very well.

Compared to Australian oranges, the price and sales speed of other fruits, such as the American late lane oranges, the Egyptian summer oranges and the South-African grapefruits, have dropped. On the one hand, the weather has been cool and rainy this week, so the demand is not so high. On the other hand, the American late lane oranges and the Egyptian summer oranges are gradually entering the end of the season, so the quality is unstable. The Egyptian oranges have a problematic thick skin. This week, the price of qualitatively bad Egyptian oranges lingers between 70 and 90 yuan, whereas the price of better oranges is around 120 yuan. However, the sales speed is quite slow. Even though the South-African grapefruits are still early in the season, from a price of 220 yuan for the first box, the price experienced a big drop. This week, the price has already dropped to 160, but the sales speed is still not very high.

Another product that is reaching the end of the season are the Californian cherries. This week, the quality of new Californian cherries has gotten worse. The difference with older produce is rather big, so the price has dropped compared to last week. Moreover, the difference in prices of cherries of different qualities is also rather big. For example, the qualitatively good cherries from the brand Bing are sold for 480-500 yuan/5kg. Cherries of a worse quality are being sold below 450 yuan. The products in stock have to be sold as soon as possible, as the market will soon welcome the Washington cherries.

Source: www.freshplaza.com Author: Yang Shuang

Publication date: 6/15/2017

Image: Pixabay_logga_wriggler

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China has become an important market for Australian citrus

Citrus fruits are cultivated in more than 140 countries all over the world, mainly in Brazil, the United States, China and the Mediterranean countries. A rough estimate reveals that, in recent years, the global citrus industry produced nearly 100 million tons of citrus, 2/3 of which were produced in the northern hemisphere and 1/3 in the southern hemisphere.

Over the past decade, Australia's citrus exports have been growing constantly. The income from these exports almost doubled from 185 million Australian dollars in 2007, up to 328 million Australian dollars this year. One of the largest export markets is China. Ten years ago China imported only 2000 tons of citrus, including a large number of products that were imported to the mainland from Hong Kong. Australian exporters have invested a lot of energy in marketing and also to meet the high standards for food import. By 2016, Australia's citrus export to China has reached 40,000 tons. Export turnover increased by 420% in ten years and amounted to 72 million Australian dollars.

According to the the latest data from Australian Citrus Association (CitrusAustralia), 2016 was a record-breaking year for Australian citrus exports. In november 2016, the global total export volume of citrus was nearly 220,000 tons, almost a 10% yearly rise. Tania Chapman, chairman of the Australian Citrus Association, said that the growing global demand for citrus, especially in the Asian market, is contributing to the revitalization of Australia's high-quality citrus industry. It encourages Australian farmers to invest in new varieties and update their cultivation techniques, which takes citrus production and quality to the next level.

Source: Fu Bao via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 6/19/2017

Image: Pixabay_hans

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New Zealand lifts temporary ban on Australian rockmelons and honeydew

A temporary import suspension implemented by New Zealand on Australian grown rockmelons and honeydew melons has been cancelled.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and federal member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said quick work following New Zealand concerns about the dimethoate treatment applied to Australian produce had helped to safeguard the future of the $5 million trade.

“I am pleased that the melon industry, treatment providers, along with my department and New Zealand authorities, have resolved any issues so that our growers can continue to provide consumers across the ditch with great tasting melons,” Mr Joyce said.

“Just as we expect other countries to respect our biosecurity conditions, so must we respect theirs when we seek to export our agricultural products.

“It’s important to remember that, although New Zealand put a temporary suspension on imports of rockmelons and honeydew melons from Australia treated with dimethoate, the trade in melons to New Zealand was able to continue from areas free of fruit fly.

source: northqueenslandregister.com.au via www.freshplaza.com

Publication date: 6/15/2017

Image: Pixabay Brett_Hondow

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“This project has been funded by the Australian Trade Commission as a part of the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) grant program and is supported by Trade and Investment Queensland and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland.”

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