Australian fruit exporters pitch products to local mart
A high-level mission comprised of business leaders representing Australian fruit exporters is in the country to drum up business in Southeast Asia including the Philippines and rev up free trade momentum.
The campaign dubbed “Now in Season” brought to the Philippines chief executives and top managers of Summerfruit Australia, Citrus Australia, Australian Table Grape Association, Apple and Pear Australia, Cherry Growers Association, AusVeg and Horticulture Innovation Australia.
Accompanying the business leaders are representatives from the federal agency Australian Trade Commission and state-level agency Trade Victoria.
According to the Australian embassy, trade in fruits between the Philippines and Australia over the past five years had surged from near zero to 15 million Australian dollars (about P535 million) at the end of 2015.
Australian senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth said a major driver of the increased availability of Australian fruits in the Philippines was the Asean Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which came into force in October 2015.
“[The AANZFTA] has made it it possible for temperate fruits from Australia, such as grapes, oranges, stonefruits, cherries, apples and pears to enter the Philippines tariff-free,” Weymouth said.
“Also, the improvement of cold treatment protocols, which have been approved by the Philippines’ Bureau of Plant Industry, reduces the transit time for Australian fruits, ensuring better quality once they reach the country,” he added.
The yearly Now in Season campaign will also bring the mission to Thailand and Vietnam, both of which are also members of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
To promote the fruits, the Australian companies have set weekend promotional activities in local supermarkets where consumers can sample the fruits. Participating establishments include the Metro Manila branches of S&R, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermart, Robinsons Supermarket, Rustan’s Fresh, Rustan’s Supermarket, Rustan’s Marketplace and Shopwise.
“Recognizing the Philippine market potential and the growing demand for imported seasonal fruits, the campaign aims to promote Australian fruits as they become available in the market,” Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely said in a statement. Ronnel W. Domingo
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.