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Budou Farms marketing the Japanese perception of grapes grown in Australia

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After working as agronomists around Australia, mostly in grapes and some other crops, Enrique and Junko Matsuzaki, decided to go on an adventure by purchasing a small farm in Merbein, South Victoria in 2014. They created the company Budou Farms. This was the year that Australia started the FTA with Japan.

Enrique's wife Junko, is Japanese and together they decided to market the Japanese perception of a product made in Australia, using Junko's knowledge of the Japanese culture. Aided by the strong technical and networking skills of Enrique, they mixed Japanese techniques with Australian conditions to grow grapes.

"From having visited production areas in Japan years before starting our farm, we got the chance to meet buyers and had some real interest from Japanese buyers for our product," explained Enrique. "We aim to have residue free grapes and we always try to use as many organic certified products, natural bio stimulants (seaweeds) and canopy techniques as possible, which enables us to use less pesticides."

"At the same time, our fruit, has a consistent quality year after year, ensuring satisfaction to our customers."

In the coming years Budou Farms will increase volumes as new blocks come into commercial volumes. Enrique said that they only send Crimson seedless grapes at the moment as only 3 varieties are Registered for the Japanese market, but if in the future the market opens for more varieties, any seedless variety will be welcomed by the Japanese consumers. The demand is for sweet grapes with consistent quality.

"It is very hard work and perhaps some growers prefer other Asian markets such as China because there are chances to get higher prices. Japanese buyers are very competitive. We have created our own brand over there, which despite the initial low volume for the whole channel of distribution, is quite well known among all the buyers."

This year the season is almost 4 weeks late, but Enrique expects that by the end of March some of their fruit will be on the shelves of some of the most important supermarkets in Japan, as well as in some high end specialty stores.

For more information: Enrique and Junko Matsuzaki budoufarms@gmail.com

Source: www.freshplaza.com Author: Nichola Watson

Image: Pixabay_Couleur

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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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