Media Release

Say konnichiwa to Australian table grapes

15 April 2014

Australian table grapes are now in Japanese fruit bowls in a welcome boost for Australian grape farmers.

Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, said the first three containers of Australian table grapes have arrived in Japan, giving our producers access to a new and valuable market.

“Market access to Japan is another welcome boost for the $82 million a year table grape export industry. This good news comes after new access for Australian table grapes to Korea in December 2013,” Minister Joyce said.

“According to industry figures, the Japanese market could be worth up to $40 million over the next three to five years.

“This is the sort of tangible outcome of our international trade and market access efforts that will help deliver better returns to the farmgate.

“Japan is one of Australia’s top export markets for horticultural produce, including citrus and mangoes, and I hope we will be adding table grapes to that list in the coming years,” Minister Joyce said.

The quarantine import requirements agreed with Japan concern the control of fruit flies through cold disinfestations.

“Last week, negotiations concluded on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), which will deliver a significant boost to Australian farmers. Japan has remained Australia’s largest export market for a wide range of agrifood products for over four decades, worth around $4 billion a year,” Minister Joyce said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Table Grape Association Inc. (ATGA), Jeff Scott, said the industry and government partnership was important in achieving the new market access.

“Our grapes are world-class. This industry meets the challenges of working in an international marketplace and is in a strong position to compete with international competitors, and imports into Australia.

“Our access to the Japanese market is great news for the Australian table grape industry and will help our industry to continue to grow,” Mr Scott said.