Australian mango exports set to rise

Posted by Editorial on 14th January 2010

Australia’s capacity to export mangoes to Japan and China has increased significantly thanks to a new Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) facility at Giru in North Queensland, the state government has said. VHT helps to control the problem of fruit fly and is critical to market access in Asia.

Acting Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland, Peter Lawlor, said that, in the first week of operation at the new facility, 10 tonnes of mangoes were treated and exported to customers in Japan.

“Previously there were only two VHT facilities in Australia – one near Darwin and the other near Mareeba,” the Minister noted. “Another important VHT facility is now under construction in South East Queensland, which will boost our export capacity even further.”

The Giru VHT facility is operated by Manbulloo Pty Ltd on its Horse Shoe Lagoon farm.

“It was given operational approval on 13 November 2009 by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Japan,” the Minister said. “The first shipment of mangoes from this site landed in Tokyo one week later.

“The facility was also inspected on 23 November by AQIS and a representative from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People’s Republic of China. Both AQSIQ and AQIS have now approved the facility, so the first shipment of Queensland mangoes from the facility to China was sent prior to Christmas.”

Mr Lawlor said the first sea freight trial shipment is also set to leave Australian shores for China in early January ready for the festivities of Chinese New Year.

“The opening of the new VHT facility built on the efforts of the Queensland Government over the past three seasons to develop new markets and expand existing markets,” he said. “The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) is working with mango producers and exporters, interstate governments and government agencies to expand export opportunities in Japan, China, UK, Europe, New Zealand, Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Market and supply chain analysis is being conducted to develop more effective relationships with supply chain partners, and improve our knowledge of the market for mangoes in China and Japan.”

The value of the Queensland mango industry last season was approximately $50 million, with exports totalling 2,618 tonnes and a value of $11.8 million.