Friday 16th Nov, 2018

Queensland ag exporters look towards Japan

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

TRADE and Investment Queensland is to lead a delegation of Japanese food importers to the Sunshine State in June to help raise the profile of Queensland’s fruit and vegetables.

Currently on a trade mission to Japan, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said more than 240 containers of Queensland fruit and vegetables have made their way onto dinner plates across Japan since 2015.

“We’ve had success with Queensland carrots, zucchini, watermelon, beetroot and in particular, nuts,” she said.

“Now we want to bring the buyers directly to growers of crops including red cabbage, broccoli, corn, lettuce and ginger.”

The Premier made the announcement while visiting at Tokyo retailer selling the Peanut Company of Australia’s Picky Picky Peanuts.

“It’s just over a year since Trade and Investment Queensland helped the Peanut Company of Australia start exporting its peanuts from Kingaroy and Gayndah in the South Burnett and Tolga on the Atherton Tablelands, to be sold through Plaza retail stores in Japan,” she said.

“In that time, the demand for Picky Picky Peanuts has grown so much they’re now being sold in over 5000 stores throughout Japan, through a variety of wholesalers.”

Earlier in May, minister for agricultural industry development Mark Furner announced six diverse Queensland food companies had been awarded first round funding as part of the $1.3m Growing Queensland’s Food Exports program.
The grants assist Queensland companies to build business capacity and grow opportunities for export in the high-end Asian market, including Japan and Singapore.

Bundaberg’s Macadamias Australia and Burdekin’s VFPlus Pty Ltd were among the producers to receive round one funding.

Between 2016 and 2017 Queensland fruit and vegetables exports to Japan rose 20%, to $17.7m, according to information supplied by the state.

The biggest category of fruit and vegetable export to Japan is nuts, with nut exports alone worth $9.1m in 2017. Queensland grows more than 90% of Australia’s annual peanut crop.

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