Boost for Aussie citrus in Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam
Rising incomes in the Philippines and Thailand and a new Australian agricultural counsellor in Vietnam will benefit Australian citrus exports to both countries, according to Citrus Australia CEO, Judith Damiani.
Judith took part in an Australian Horticulture Trade Mission to the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand led by the Victorian Government with support from the Australian Government in each country.
She said the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are important emerging markets for Australian citrus.
“In 2015 citrus exports to Thailand were valued at $12.4 million and in The Philippines $5.4 million. Interestingly Thailand is a mandarin market whereas Philippines is an orange market, but I believe this will balance out with protocol improvements and increased supply from Australia.
Vietnam is a major market for Australian tablegrapes and provides opportunities for Australian citrus too.
Judith was able to meet retailers, importers and quarantine staff as well as Australian Embassy/Austrade staff in all three countries.
“The rising middle class in all 3 countries is overwhelming – there is construction of new malls, each with designer stores, and many upmarket supermarkets.”
The ‘Now in Season! Program’ has been conducted in the Philippines for three years. It has focussed promotion of Australian oranges to the more affluent demographic in this time.
“It is nicely set up to support that demographic with our product,” Judith said.
Social media has a very large presence in each country and Judith said it is an important forum to influence customers, and shape public perceptions.
As part of the mission, the Victorian Government employed a chef to demonstrate how to cook meals with premium Australian produce, including beef, dairy and fruit.
“The trade mission demonstrated the importance of the Australian industries and governments working together to present a professional package to the trade, government and consumers in each country,” she said.
“These markets will be very important over the next 5-10 years. We want a whole suite of markets that enable us to spread distribution of our crop.”