AUSTRALIAN horticulture has taken a "dream big" approach to its new Taste Australia brand launched last week.
Horticulture Innovation Australia revealed the Taste Australia campaign in Sydney on Tuesday where it committed more than $10.5 million into trade activities over the next year towards research and development to grow market access, and increased support for current and aspiring exporters.
As part of the new export push, HIA worked with industry to set trade targets which were developed in consideration of future production forecasts, building industry capacity and a growing middle class across Asia.
A snapshot of the goals include:
- Increase the value of vegetable exports to $315 million, or 40 per cent, by 2020 through relationship building, working with industry to get export ready, boosting supply chain efficiencies and overseas activities.
- Invest an estimated $31.48 million over the next five years into avocado research and development, to create a potential impact of $212 million. By 2021, over 10 per cent of production will be exported to markets who are willing to pay a premium for quality Australian avocados.
- Export 12,000 tonnes of cherries by 2020/21, an increase of 340 per cent over the 2015 levels. This equates to a 16.5 per cent year-on-year growth over a five-year period. Industry reports that the bulk of this development is expected to occur in Tasmania and Victoria
- Increase almond export sales from 64,000 tonnes in 2016 to 110,000 tonnes in 2022 through the development of improved harvesting techniques and pest management, novel technology to reduce labour costs and more.
- In olives, continue to support established and growing high-margin export market opportunities in China and Asia for high quality olive oil through an anticipated $2.75 million over the next five years in R&D and extension activities.
By 2021, increase exports of Australian strawberries from four per cent to at least eight per cent of national production by volume, in selected markets, with a capacity and willingness to pay a premium for quality fruit.
The greater global industry will get its first look at Taste Australia when more than 200 industry representatives converge Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong next month.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, launched the trade push.
“Our horticulture industry today made a bold statement about its intent to seize the opportunities global food demand presents,” Ms Ruston said.
“Global food demand alone will require a 75 per cent increase in world food production by 2050, compared with 2007 levels.
“In China, food consumption is projected to more than double between 2009 and 2050. Much of this demand will be for the high-value, high-quality produce Australia is known for.
“Taste Australia is a new brand and export campaign to promote premium Australian produce overseas.
“This brand promotes our longstanding reputation for quality produce, the cleanliness of our environment, the desirability of our lifestyle, and the trust that can be placed in our commercial supply chains and biosecurity."
But Australian Made Campaign chief executive, Ian Harrison, said he would be very interested to see how the new initiative plays into cohesive branding in export markets
He said whether or not businesses intend to market their products as Australian domestically or abroad, consistency was key.
“A collaborative, cohesive approach to country-of-origin branding for all Australian product categories would serve our farmers and manufacturers well,” Mr Harrison said.
“A single logo that establishes the national identity of all Australian products is an important step towards an effective strategy for 'brand Australia'.
“The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is already being used globally by thousands of Australian farmers and manufacturers, so it makes sense to leverage that brand equity collectively."
HIA trade general manager, Michael Rogers, said Taste Australia relates specifically to Australian food.
"The positioning for horticulture was developed to be consistent with the premium food messaging guide developed by the Australian Trade Commission or Austrade – the Australian Government’s export promotion agency and incorporates learnings from collaborations in overseas markets with the Australian meat, dairy and wine sectors," Mr Rogers said.
"Australia is known for delivering high-end produce that has undergone the most rigorous food safety inspections along all stages of the supply chain.
"Our research tells us we need to build upon that. Taste Australia leverages off how our country is known for our great lifestyle with our sunshine, appealing farms, beaches and landscapes.
"We want to give international consumers a sense of Australia every time they buy and eat Australian fruit, vegetable and nuts."
Ausveg threw its support behind the campaign with CEO James Whiteside saying the Taste Australia campaign will help to solidify the premium position Australian vegetables have in the foreign market.
“Australia has an international reputation for being naturally blessed, including our spectacular climate and beautiful landscapes," Mr Whiteside said.
"Taste Australia is a valuable initiative that will tap into this national image while telling the unique story of our growers to give overseas consumers a sense of Australia with every bite.”
“The vegetable industry is in an excellent position to capitalise on expanding markets for premium fresh produce, like the increasing middle class in south east Asia and the Middle East, and we’re continuing to work with growers to increase our industry’s export readiness.”