Australian citrus industry

Increasing Australian Citrus Export Demand

Daniel CooperExport, International

Australian citrus industry

With production gains projected in coming seasons, the Australian citrus industry has instituted a plan to increase demand overseas. A $5.3 million market development and quality program is being delivered through Hort Innovation and led by Citrus Australia. Its intent is to ensure the Australian citrus industry remains well-informed, profitable and able to supply quality fruit reliably and sustainably to domestic and international markets.

About 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.

The industry’s market development program has helped growers meet strong domestic and overseas demand for citrus since 2009. 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,” Fifield said. “Our volumes are expected to exceed 1.2 million tons within the next five years, from an estimated volume of 750,000 tons 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.”

The program was designed through a collaborative process involving key citrus industry stakeholders.

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,” he 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.”

In the season ending in November 2023, Australian export volume increased 15% to 269,000 tons. Key export markets include Japan, Greater China, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea.

Source: Hort Innovation

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