Australian blueberry producers lament loss of opportunities by not having access to China

The sudden announcement of a trade agreement between China and the United States in which China has agreed to finalize phytosanitary protocols for US blueberries, highlights how Australian blueberry producers continue to lose export opportunities by not having access to the Chinese market.

Australian blueberry growers (with the exception of Tanzania) are currently unable to export to China. This is because an export protocol for the treatment of the fruit fly has not been agreed.

“Blueberries are second in the Australian Government's list of priority access to the Chinese horticultural market behind apples since October 2017, with an initial application filed as early as 2010. However, the progress of the negotiation of the protocol of export has been slow, despite the efforts of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, ”says Berries Australia president Peter McPherson.

A detailed investigation commissioned by the Australian Association of Blueberry Producers (ABGA) in 2017 on the demand for Australian blueberries in China revealed that there is a strong and growing market.

Research carried out by Knudsen & Co and featured in a report titled “The China Market for Australian Blueberries; a unique opportunity ”confirms that there is a growing demand for Australian blueberries in China, and that the superior taste, size, food safety and nutritional value of Australian grown blueberries are recognized.

“It is very frustrating for the sector to know that we have a superior product and that we have to remain still seeing how other countries have negotiated the access of their blueberries to China. Countries like Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and now the United States have obtained access. It is time for the Australian Government to address trade negotiations with a fully governmental approach, including the negotiation of blueberry access at the highest political levels between the two countries, ”says McPherson.

SimFRUIT according to FreshPlaza

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