Chinese demand boosts KCTT applications
More growers have registered more citrus blocks for export to Korea, China, Thailand and Taiwan.
Under the online registration system, there have been 3221 block applications representing 8181ha. This represents a 59% increase in applications and a 55% increase in hectares compared to last year, when there were 2027 block applications representing 5281ha.
497 owners have applied – 20% more than 2015 – with applications for 67 sheds.
Citrus Australia’s Nathan Hancock, Manager of Market Information and Quality, said the online registration system has enabled more growers to export earlier in the season.
“Two seasons ago, applications were completed manually, which created a paper trail. If there was an issue, applications had to be posted and posted back.
“This online system has streamlined that. It has also reduced audit costs in the system, saved industry money and stopped lost documentation.”
In the first year of the new online system, the process removed six weeks from the process. It was completed even earlier this year.
Nathan said the strong demand from China was a major factor behind the increase in applications.
“China has a high threshold for fruit quality, so growers need a large number of hectares to choose from.”
Citrus Australia Market Information and Quality Manager, Nathan Hancock, said access to KCTT markets requires meeting import protocols.
“Growers have to adopt an on-farm systems approach to control quarantine pests,” Nathan said.
“What’s encouraging is that the growth in applications comes from growers who had previously shipped to KCTT markets.
“They’re indicating that despite the cost and rigour required the reward for meeting the protocol requirements was worthwhile.”