Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford is visiting Japan’s largest supermarket chain Aeon in Tokyo to celebrate the recent success of Victorian table grape exports to Japan which increased tenfold this season.
According to the Minister, 165 containers of table grapes have been exported to Japan this year as opposed to last year’s 16.
Last year, the Victorian Government partnered with the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA), Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd and Austrade to stage a promotional launch of Australian table grapes in Japan after the Australian Department of Agriculture and Japan’s key Government quarantine agency agreed export protocols for Australian table grapes, granting new market access to Japan.
The Victorian Government also supported a delegation of key Japanese fruit buyers to meet with table grape growers and exporters in Sunraysia in February this year and organised retail promotions in key supermarkets and departments stores in Japan, highlighting the key quality attributes of Australian table grapes.
“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.” Ms Pulford said, adding that Victorian 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.
She said her visit to Japan’s largest retailer – which operates in 13 countries across South East Asia – will enhance trade relationships with key Japanese customers and support export growth for Victorian produce including table grapes, citrus, lamb, pasture-fed beef and dairy products.
“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,” the Minister added.
ATGA CEO Jeff Scott said the assistance provided by the Victorian Government helped Australian table grape exporters secure the lucrative Japanese market which is expected to grow significantly in the future.
“The support of the Victorian Government has been highly valued by industry to capitalise on this new important export opportunity,” Mr Scott said.
“We believe exports to Japan could double again next season to 300 containers, worth over $20 million.”
Victoria accounts for over 95% of Australia’s table grape exports.