Record year for Australian table grapes

31st August 2020 | Eativity editors

The Australian table grape industry has achieved its highest ever export volume and value in the 2020 financial year, with 152,200 tonnes valued at AUD $622,947,485.

“When looking at table grape export figures over the past three years, volume increased by 47 percent, while value increased by 67 percent,” says Dr Penny Measham, Head of International Trade at Hort Innovation, the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australia’s horticulture industry.

China continues to drive export growth, taking up 42 percent of total exports by volume, increasing by 12 percent in volume and 25 percent in value in the 2020 financial year. However, South Korea has had a record year, with 152 percent year-on-year growth in volume, and 951 percent growth over the last two years. The Philippines has also increased its share of exports, with value increasing 29 percent year-on-year.

Despite COVID-19, the Taste Australia campaign was able to find new ways to reach consumers.

Hort Innovation’s Taste Australia retail program builds a sustainable position for Australian horticulture in key export markets in Asia via marketing programs and activities.

“The Taste Australia campaign launched at the peak of the COVID-19 global outbreak, with all markets impacted in some way,” Dr Measham says. “As markets went into lockdown, the retail landscape changed dramatically – shoppers were limited in stores and footfall dropped, with many consumers turning online for grocery shopping.

“Foundation activities such as in-store retail sampling and media launches were either impossible or reduced. The program pivoted to become more digitally focused, with an upweighting to social media, e-commerce, use of influencers and digital advertising to reach consumers in their homes.”

Hort Innovation General Manager for Marketing and Trade, Justine Coates, says that the success of Australian table grapes is underpinned by the production of high-quality fruit, being able to export some product prior to significant global disruption caused by the pandemic, and the ability to sea freight product.

“Many horticulture products are now facing into a peak period of export with reduced airfreight capacity due to COVID,” she says.

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