WA vegie ex­port mar­ket set to grow

Joondalup Times - - GREAT OUTDOORS -

A PROJECT de­signed to in­crease West Aus­tralian veg­etable ex­ports to key over­seas and emerg­ing markets has kicked off in Perth.

The three-year project, spear­headed by veg­eta­blesWA, will help up­skill local veg­etable grow­ers to be­come ex­port ready and tap into the global de­mand for qual­ity fresh pro­duce.

Veg­eta­blesWA chief ex­ec­u­tive John Shan­non said while times had been tough in the in­dus­try, there was work be­ing done to help WA grow­ers ac­cess over­seas markets.

“We see strong po­ten­tial for WA grow­ers to ac­cess these markets,” he said.

“Aus­tralia has sev­eral com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­place in­clud­ing ge­o­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity to key markets, counter sea­son­al­ity and the per­cep­tion of Aus­tralia as a premium qual­ity pro­ducer.”

Mr Shan­non said the project aimed to in­crease ex­ports and grow the value of veg­etable ex­ports by 40 per cent by 2020.

WA Corn Grow­ers man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jim Tran­dos said his fam­ily’s busi­ness, Tran­dos Farms, em­ployed more than 100 peo­ple and pro­duced sweet corn and beans on four prop­er­ties in Wan­neroo, Gin­gin, Beer­mul­lah and Broome.

“We cur­rently ex­port to Dubai, Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia and New Zealand,” he said.

“Our ex­ports sit at about 15 per cent of our to­tal sales an­nu­ally and we are look­ing to in­crease our sales to 20 per cent in the next 12 months.” d482305

Mr Tran­dos said labour was the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenge fac­ing the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

“The other is­sues in hor­ti­cul­ture are also wa­ter and from an ex­port point of view, we are a very high cost pro­duc­ing coun­try which makes it more dif­fi­cult to com­pete on the world mar­ket,” he said.

“Our ad­van­tage is we are recog­nised as a clean, green, safe coun­try for ex­port pro­duc­tion.”

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

WA Corn Grow­ers’ Stephanie Matthews, ex­port devel­op­ment man­ager Lloyd Wil­liams, Alanna Matthews and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jim Tran­dos.

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