Viticulture

Vietnam a top destination for Australian grapes

By Country News

As the Australian table grape export season starts, Australian growers have headed to Vietnam to boost trade relations.

Three key growers from the Sunraysia region, which is responsible for about 99per cent of table grape exports, representation from the Australian Table Grapes Association and a delegation from Austrade, was on the ground in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from February 28 to March 6 to spruik the premium product.

Hosted under the Hort Innovation’s Taste Australia banner, the trade marketing activity aims to cement existing trade relations and develop new and exciting partnerships.

Hort Innovation acting trade lead Dianne Phan said Vietnam was the seventh largest importer of Australian table grapes.

‘‘Vietnam is a key exporting country for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to educate and promote Australian grapes to Vietnamese consumers,’’ Ms Phan said.

‘‘Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high-quality and premium produce.

‘‘Moving forward, we expect that we will be able to produce more of the grapes that Vietnamese consumers love.’’

Australian Table Grapes Association chief executive officer Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year.

‘‘Many growers have planted new varieties in large numbers under commercial licences and have commenced exporting,’’ Mr Scott said.

‘‘If any variety proves successful or demand is high from importing countries, additional plantings will take place to satisfy demand.’’

Mr Scott said two varieties, Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless, were still expected to be Australia’s main export varieties.

‘‘As an industry, we are seeing year-on-year growth in table grape exports and this is a very pleasing outcome for growers,’’ he said.

Mr Scott presented an industry update during the trade activities in Vietnam providing key partners with a seasonal overview of the 2019 crop forecast and the five- to 10-year crop yield predictions.