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“We are now the biggest southern hemisphere supplier to that country” | Grape Boom

For the first time the value of Australian table grape exports has eclipsed half a billion dollars.

A touch over 146,000 tonnes of the fruit was sent overseas in the 2019 season, an increase of 32.5 percent.

Australian Table Grapes Association Chief Executive Jeff Scott told Macquarie’s Rural Reporter Eddie Summerfield growth into Japan has been incredible.

“We are now the biggest southern hemisphere supplier to that country,” Mr Scott said.

“It’s quiet remarkable given the fact we’re only allowed to export three varieties to Japan, so we actually exported more to Japan than say Chile did, which is our main competitor.”

The spike in exports has been off the back of new vines coming into production, as well as a very strong growing season.

“We had some very, very cold chilly nights, and it was quiet dry. So that brings out the flavours, the colours and maturity in the grapes.”

The peak industry body is continuing it’s pursuit of growth, currently completing a trade expedition through Asia.

On farm, the benefits of an increased export program is paying dividends, growers experiencing a 9.1 per cent increase in returns, averaged at $3.80 per kilogram.

“Hopefully what we can see there with the growers, is they are reinvesting in their own business, their improving their farm infrastructure, and it all helps in producing good quality grapes.”

Listen to the full interview above.

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