Australian citrus growers sign export MOU with China
Australian citrus growers’ industry group Citrus Australia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese Agricultural Wholesale Market Association that will see exports to China expand rapidly in the coming year.
The MOU, which was signed by Citrus Australia’s CEO Judith Damiani and the President of the Chinese Agricultural Wholesale Market Association (CAWA) Mr Zengjun Ma, means the export of citrus to China is likely to double. Citrus exports to China in 2013 were valued at A$21 million.
“We’re delighted – the MOU is a strategic alliance which provides benefits to members of both associations – and a first for Australian agriculture,” Ms Damiani said.
Citrus Australia said it had spent many years forming a relationship with the CAWA, China’s largest agricultural distributor with over 300 members, representing about 70 per cent of the total fruit and vegetable trade in China.
According to Citrus Australia, one of the CAWA delegation members own a market three times the size of Sydney’s wholesale markets (Sydney Market is Australia’s largest wholesale produce market).
Mr Ma said the CAWA considered Australia’s clean environment, the premium quality of the produce and counter-seasonality major benefits of Australian citrus.
“The prospects are very good because Australia has such vast land and China has huge demand for Australian produce,” Mr Ma said.
Citrus Australia hosted the CAWA delegation of 21 members on their inaugural visit to Australia, which included wholesale market visits in Sydney and Melbourne, business networking and a tour of Mildura and Renmark orchards and packing facilities. The tour culminated in an official industry dinner at Mildura in Victoria and the signing of the MOU on Tuesday 24 June 2014.