Citrus Congress

Australia Is Key Market for U.S. Fresh Fruit

Tacy Callies Export/Import, International, Trade

Photo by Lara Jameson

Australia is a crucial market for U.S. citrus and other fresh fruits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS). A recent report from the agency says the United States has benefited from a well-established reputation for producing safe, quality fruit. The report suggests ways U.S. fruit exporters can access the Australian market.  

Demand for fresh fruit was low in Australia from 2018–2020, but the fresh fruit industry has recovered. Demand will likely increase for the next five years, USDA FAS reported.

A major advantage for Northern Hemisphere growers looking to ship fruit to Australia is counter-seasonal growing. For instance, the U.S. season for growing citrus is November to March, while the Australian citrus growing season is May to September.

The leading fresh fruit imports into Australia from the United States include California table grapes, California stone fruit, citrus, California pomegranates and California and Pacific Northwest cherries. On average over five years, the United States exported $20.5 million of oranges to Australia, accounting for 97% of Australia’s orange imports.  

Behind New Zealand, the United States is the second largest supplier of fresh fruits to Australia, with 41% of the market in 2022.

The Australian government has funded initiatives to promote healthy eating, increasing profits for the fruit industry. Food experts predict that the fresh fruit industry will benefit from changing dietary trends emphasizing fresh fruit consumption.

Major supermarkets throughout Australia have also driven the growth in fresh fruit consumption and imports by offering customers a range of fresh produce products throughout the year.

USDA FAS lists four ways U.S. fruit exporters can enter the Australian market:

  1. Enter the market through an established distributor, importer or sales and marketing agent. Eight to 10 importers in Australia specialize in fresh produce from the United States. These importers supply wholesalers through markets located in every mainland capital city. These markets supply second-tier supermarkets, independent greengrocers and the food service sector.
  2. Enter the market through trade, retail and consumer communication and promotion. This includes product launches in store, in-store demonstrations, sampling and providing promotional materials to supermarkets and distributors.
  3. Consumer communication and advertising in publications such as food and lifestyle magazines, social media, billboards, etc.
  4. Exhibit at trade shows throughout Australia: Hort Connections, the Foodservice Show and Fine Food Australia, which is endorsed by the USDA.

Source: USDA FAS