Pro­mot­ing ap­ple and pear ex­port

Shepparton News - Country News - - WOMEN IN AG FORUM -

Ap­ple and Pear Aus­tralia has ap­pointed an in­dus­try ser­vices and ex­port man­ager, cor­rect­ing what chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Phil Turn­bull said was a ‘‘his­tor­i­cal im­bal­ance’’ of in­vest­ment and fo­cus.

Justin Smith, who has pre­vi­ously worked for Be­lamy’s Or­ganic, Coles and Mur­ray Goul­burn Co-Op­er­a­tive, has been named in the role, with Mr Turn­bull stat­ing it will help to im­prove mar­ket ac­cess and reen­gage grow­ers with ex­port mar­kets.

‘‘The ap­point­ment of an In­dus­try Ser­vices and Readi­ness Man­ager sig­nals the com­mence­ment of our Mar­ket Ac­cess and Ex­port Readi­ness project which aims to op­ti­mise grow­ers’ abil­i­ties to take part in ex­port,’’ Mr Turn­bull said.

The ap­ple and pear mar­ket cur­rently re­lies on a sin­gle do­mes­tic mar­ket to ab­sorb in­creas­ing prod­uct vol­ume, with over­all ex­ports de­clin­ing from above 18 per cent 20 years ago to be­low three per cent of pro­duc­tion.

‘‘It’s an in­con­ve­nient truth that the more you grow, the more you have to sell,’’ Mr Turn­bull said.

‘‘Pro­duc­tiv­ity gains in­di­cate our grow­ers are op­er­at­ing at the lead­ing edge of best prac­tice glob­ally, but with­out com­men­su­rate fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing mar­kets for sup­ply, we risk in­ad­ver­tently con­tribut­ing to flat and de­clin­ing pric­ing.’’

Mr Smith will be fo­cused on grow­ing aware­ness of ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties, trade and cer­tifi­cate re­quire­ments and as­sist­ing grow­ers to bet­ter po­si­tion them­selves and their prod­uct in com­pet­i­tive over­seas mar­kets.

As part of his in­duc­tion to the role, Mr Smith will un­der­take a tour of grow­ing re­gions, de­vel­op­ing his un­der­stand­ing of grow­ers’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties, key con­cerns and as­pi­ra­tions for tak­ing part in ex­port.

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