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Australia: Sweet strawberries growing Asian exports

A delegation of Queensland strawberry growers and representatives recently returned from Hong Kong and Indonesia.

Luigi Coco from A&E Coco and Sons, Charmaine Davey from Berry Patch Marketing and Brendon and Ashleigh Hoyle from Ashbern Farms all collaborated to trial exporting strawberries to both Hong Kong and Jakarta. Jennifer Rowling, the Subtropical Industry Development Officer and Clinton McGrath and Bronwyn Ford, both from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, were also part of the delegation.

The delegation visited 17 different retail outlet types from the high-end supermarket chain “Great Food Hall” in Hong Kong and “Ranch Market” in Jakarta through to suburban supermarkets and the wholesale market, wet market and local street stores.

Queensland strawberry delegation at Wing Kee Importers in Hong Kong

“Hong Kong is a very competitive market with strawberries from USA available in every market type. USA strawberries are also available in Jakarta with locally-grown Indonesia strawberries also available”, said Luigi Coco, Chairman of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association and strawberry grower from Elimbah.

A number of trials were also conducted exporting Queensland strawberries to Hong Kong and the fruit was viewed upon arrival at two import businesses.

“Within 24 hours of picking the strawberries on our farm, they can arrive at the importer's distribution centre in Hong Kong”, said Brendon Hoyle from Ashbern Farms. “The Hong Kong cold chain is very sophisticated and strong relationships between these businesses and the retail and food service industry have been established”.

The supply chain to Jakarta is slightly more complex than Hong Kong with no direct flights from Brisbane currently available as well as the requirement for pest treatment. Despite these challenges, Queensland strawberries were exported and available for purchase by consumers.

Charmaine Davey from Berry Patch Marketing showing their fruit for sale at Ranch Market in Jakarta, Indonesia

Charmaine Davey from Berry Patch Marketing at Wamuran said, “It was a highlight seeing strawberries from our farm being sold and purchased in Ranch Market in Jakarta. The colour and size of the Queensland-bred strawberry varieties including 'Red Rhapsody' are very attractive to the consumer”.

The travel was part of a project funded by the Queensland Government’s Growing Queensland Food Exports program which was also supported by the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association. Trade and Investment Queensland were very supportive of the project and helpful in establishing business relationships with Hong Kong and Indonesian importers and retail buyers.

For more information:
Queensland Strawberry Growers Association
PO Box 917 Cooroy Q 4563
T: 0438 752 177

Publication date: 6/13/2018



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