The Australian table grapes industry has made a historic breakthrough, exporting the first container of local produce to China six years after first trying to break into the market of 1.3 billion people.
The container of crimson seedless from Nangolic Colignan Farms arrived in Shenzhen, China earlier this week and was given the all clear by officers from Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of the People’s Republic of China (CIQ). The grapes hit fruit stands the following day.
Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) representatives accompanying the delivery were relieved and excited to finally crack the world’s largest market.
“A lot of time and effort has been expended in gaining official access into China,” ATGA Chairman Nick Muraca said. “It has not been an easy road and has required plenty of money and research.
“We had to convince the Chinese that we have rigourous system-based management processes that will prevent any incursion of pest or disease into China. Witnessing the first consignment arriving and being given the approval by CIQ was a proud moment for me and the table grape industry.”
ATGA CEO Jeff Scott said it was extremely pleasing that one of their key long-term strategic goals had been achieved.
“The ATGA has forged a strong working relationship with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, in particular Biosecurity Australia, and together we have achieved a significant breakthrough.”
Mr Scott sees the table grape access as not only good for grapes, but for the wider horticulture industry.
“Hopefully our access will be the catalyst and template for other commodity groups to follow and for them to achieve market access into China,” he said.
CIQ conducted a thorough inspection carried out by 10 officers. Also in attendance were representatives of the importing company, Golden Wing Mau, and the shipping line APL.