Viticulture

Australian table grape exports hit new record

By Jamie Salter

The Australian table grape industry has achieved its highest ever export volume and value, with one country in particular driving growth.

The 2020 financial year saw 152,200 tonnes of table grapes exported, valued at $622 million, compared to 146,000 tonnes valued at $555 million exported last year.

China took up 42 per cent of total exports by volume, an increase of 12 per cent in volume and 25 per cent in value.

However, South Korea has had a record year with 152 per cent year-on-year growth in volume, and 951 per cent growth during the past two years.

The Philippines has also increased its share of exports with value increasing 29 per cent year-on-year.

“The table grape success was underpinned by the production of high-quality fruit, being able to export some product prior to significant global disruption and the ability to sea freight product,” Hort Innovation general manager marketing and trade Justine Coates said.

This record-breaking year comes as the Federal Government announced Mildura's AND Fresh will receive more than $30,000 to trial its data logging technology in table grape exports.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the trial had the potential to boost export supply chain traceability of an industry worth over half a billion dollars.

“AND Fresh will trial the use of data loggers in a select number of table grape export shipments from harvest point to shop shelf along road, rail, and shipping networks.

“The loggers will capture location, temperature, humidity and light in real time.”

Federal Member for Mallee Anne Webster said the technology would be able to detect if containers had been opened by the use of light sensors.

“Data will be available on a smartphone app showing graphs and maps in real time, meaning farmers, transporters, freight forwarders, exporters and retailers can all access it,” she said.