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Japanese Importers Get a Taste for Victorian Table Grapes

23 February 2015

The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to support Victorian table grape growers and capitalise on new access to Asian markets.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, was last night joined by the Australian Table Grape Association and Austrade to welcome an inbound delegation of Japanese fruit importers, as part of moves to further boost demand for Victoria’s table grapes.

Five representatives of Japan’s key fruit buyers are meeting growers, packers and exporters over the course of three days in Melbourne and the Sunraysia region, as part of the Government’s latest inbound trade mission.

The first Australian table grapes – mostly from the Sunraysia region – were exported to Japan last year following the completion of market access negotiations between the two countries.

Sixteen containers of Australian table grapes worth about $1 million were exported to Japan in 2014, with over 100 containers valued at over $6 million forecast to be exported in 2015.

The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, signed last year, will expand opportunities over time, with tariffs on table grapes expected to be eliminated over the next eight years.

The Labor Government is committed to establishing a unit dedicated to working with overseas representatives to identify trade barriers and assist in Free Trade negotiations to further grow exports into Asia.

This inbound mission comes at a challenging time for the industry, with a difficult international market access and trading environment, including the current ban on the export of Australian fruit to the Vietnamese market.

The mission will help stimulate demand for Victorian table grapes and connect Victorian suppliers with Japanese buyers.

The delegation will spend most of their time in the Sunraysia region meeting table grape growers, packers and exporters.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford

“The Andrews Labor Government is supporting Victorian table grape growers to build their presence in the Japanese market and lay the foundation for future export growth.”

“Table grapes are Victoria’s second-largest horticultural export crop, valued at $227 million in 2013-14, and Sunraysia produces about 94 per cent of Australia’s table grape exports.”

“Having visited the Sunraysia region twice already as a Minister, I appreciate the critical role our growers play in driving economic growth and jobs.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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