Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford will today visit Japan’s largest supermarket chain Aeon in Tokyo to celebrate the recent success of Victorian table grape exports to Japan.
The Victorian Government partnered with the Australian Table Grape Association, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd and Austrade to successfully launch table grapes after market access was granted in early 2014, with 16 containers of table grapes exported last season.
The Andrews Labor Government seized on this success and supported a delegation of key Japanese fruit buyers to meet with table grape growers and exporters in Sunraysia in February this year.
Retail promotions took place in key supermarkets and departments stores in Japan, highlighting the key quality attributes of Australian table grapes.
These activities have helped grow table grape exports to Japan tenfold this season, with 165 containers exported worth about $10 million.
Victoria accounts for over 95 per cent of Australia’s table grape exports and growers and exporters will benefit from the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which will reduce the tariff on table grapes to zero over the next seven to ten years.
Today’s visit by Ms Pulford will enhance trade relationships with key Japanese customers like Aeon, and support export growth for Victorian produce including table grapes, citrus, lamb, pasture-fed beef and dairy products.
Aeon is the largest retailer in Japan, with operations in 13 countries across South East Asia.
Ms Pulford will later join top Japanese chefs, restaurateurs and butchers to showcase Victoria’s quality lamb during a working dinner with key industry stakeholders and importers in Tokyo tonight.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We’re supporting Victorian table grape growers to build their presence in the Japanese market and lay the foundation for more exports, growth and jobs.”
“Premium department stores and supermarket chains such as Aeon are a big platform for Japanese consumers to taste Australian grapes and experience first-hand their fresh, high quality attributes.”
Quotes attributable to Australian Table Grape Association CEO Jeff Scott
“The support of the Victorian Government has been highly valued by industry to capitalise on this new important export opportunity.”
“We believe exports to Japan could double again next season to 300 containers, worth over $20 million.”