Western Australian orange growers have begun exporting their produce to the markets in China, Thailand and South Korea by meeting the stringent protocol that requires specific orchard management practices and cold treatment of fruit transported by sea to the markets.
The new export market opportunities are a new source of income and provide market diversity for WA citrus growers.
WA Agriculture Minister Ken Baston said the export milestone would boost the industry’s competitiveness.
“Western Australian citrus fruit is well known for its delicious taste and widely recognised as a clean and green product. So far this year, citrus growers Moora Citrus and AGRIFresh have exported more than 30,000 boxes of navel oranges and a small quantity of mandarins to China and South-East Asia,” Mr Baston said.
“Having established these export markets, the producers expect to increase the volume of fruit exported over the next few years as significant new plantings come into full production. Export markets are vital in ensuring the continued viability and profitability of the State’s citrus orchards.”
According to the Minister’s statement, WA produces more than 15,000 tonnes of citrus each year, worth $15 million, with most of the State’s oranges, mandarins and lemons produced within a 250km radius of Perth.
“Building on the success of these trailblazing growers, the Government is working with other Western Australian citrus growers interested in exporting their fruit,” Minister Baston said.
“The work included a recent delegation of producers on visits to markets in China to meet buyers, identify any issues in the current supply of citrus, discuss market opportunities and learn more about export protocols.”
On a national level, growers export 130,000 tonnes of citrus each year.