MAKING Queensland’s fresh produce exports the “first choice” of importers and shopkeepers in Asian markets was the focus of a supply chain workshop in Brisbane this week.

Agriculture minister Mark Furner said the Toward Consistent Export Quality workshop provided “a valuable opportunity” to build Australia’s horticulture reputation in Asia.

“During the 2018-19 financial year, Queensland exported more than $300 million worth of fruit and vegetable produce including mangoes, citrus and avocados to Asian markets,” Mr Furner said.

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“Product quality and supply chain service are two advantages that Queensland and Australia can build on to maintain our competitive edge in the Asian market.”

Mr Furner said lessons from the workshop potentially would open opportunities to enhance the reputation of Queensland produce exporters.

He said the Toward Consistent Export Quality workshop was part of a larger three-day Serviced Supply Chains project workshop.

“The workshop has attracted 80 horticulture fresh produce exporters and service providers from Queensland and interstate, key representatives from several research and development supplier and funding organisations, and specialists from Asia,” Mr Furner said.

“They have focused on better understanding the challenges faced by Australian and Queensland horticulture exporters and outlining potential solutions being investigated within the Serviced Supply Chains project led by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.”

He said being able to tap into a large pool of expertise would significantly improve horticulture food quality and safety and enhance Queensland’s export performance.

“Ultimately, this translates into more job opportunities throughout Queensland,” he said.

Mr Furner said horticulture and increasing exports were priority research and development areas within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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