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Middle East importers get a taste of Australia Fresh

Producers from key growing regions across Australia will descend upon the World of Perishables trade expo in Dubai next week to showcase their produce to the eager Middle East market.

The group – led by Horticulture Innovation Australia and joined by peak industry bodies – will occupy an eye-catching two-story ‘Australia Fresh’ exhibit at the World of Perishables from November 13 to 15.

The World of Perishables is considered the premium annual fresh produce trade event in the Middle East, attended by more than 7000 people, including key government officials, importers, wholesalers and suppliers.

Horticulture Innovation Australia Chief Executive, John Lloyd, said this year marks the first time growers and AUSVEG, Cherries Australia and Apples and Pears Australia, have joined forces to promote produce under the ‘Australia Fresh’ banner in Dubai.

“We are excited to be heading over to Dubai to showcase some of Australia’s finest produce to an eager market that sees our stringent health and safety standards as our point of difference,” he said.

Last financial year, Australia exported more than $203 million in horticultural produce to the Middle East, with key markets in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon and Bahrain – up from $71 million in 2010/2011*.

“Over the past five years, exports to the Middle East nearly tripled, and this figure can only rise through initiatives such as the Australia Fresh,” Mr Lloyd said.

Mr Lloyd said that changing demographics and increased air freight access have contributed to the rise in demand for Australian produce.

“The Middle East has seen a rapid increase in the number of middle and high-income households in recent years, driving an increased sophistication in purchasing choices, including fresh produce,” he said.

“The expansion of direct flights between Australia and key hubs in the Middle East is also making the overnight supply of fresh produce easier.”

The World of Perishables has proven a valuable tool for growers, with one grower who attended last year now supplying beetroots to the Crown Prince of Dubai to feed his racehorses.

“These research and development expeditions work. They help to lift the profile of Australian produce and provide industry with valuable business links that will pay off for years to come,” Mr Lloyd said.

So far this year, Horticulture Innovation Australia and industry representatives have conducted trade efforts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, all as part of the Australia Fresh initiative.

*Global Trade Atlas 2016.

For more information:
Kelly Vorst-Parkes 
Tel: 0447 304 255 
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