Article by: Hari Yellina
Australian peaches and nectarines will re-enter Vietnam thanks to a five-year-long deal. The federal government recently approved technical negotiations between the two nations, which will restore the trade destination after it was closed in 2015 by Vietnamese officials who demanded the implementation of a phytosanitary standard. With a two-way trade valued at $4.39 billion in 2021, Vietnam is Australia’s seventh largest market for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products, with a 77/23 split in Australia’s favour. Vietnam is a priority market for quality Australian fresh fruit, according to federal agricultural minister David Littleproud. “There is a significant demand for high quality, affordable, and convenient fresh foods from the increasing middle class there, which our farmers are able and eager to supply,” Mr Littleproud added.
“My department is now working with industry to facilitate trial exports by the end of this season before fully opening the trade for the start of next season,” says the official. According to the recently issued 2020/21 Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Australia produced 85,819t of nectarines and peaches worth $236 million in the year ending June 2021, with 16 percent shipped to be processed. For the same period, Australia exported 13,187t, with China receiving more than half (54%) of the total. Andrew Finlay, the chair of Summerfruit Australia, expressed his delight at the achievement and thanked everyone who helped make it possible.
Peaches and nectarines are grown in the majority of the Australian states excluding the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Victoria is the major producer, accounting for around 70% of the total production of nectarines and around 80% of peaches. Victoria has many advantages in both production and processing including its natural assets in climate and soils which are ideal for peach and nectarine growth and are unfavourable for the development of major pest outbreaks and diseases. New South Wales is the next highest producer accounting for around 14% and 12% of nectarine and peach production respectively with the remainder of national production in the states of Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland.