YARRA Valley farmers are encouraging locals to support them as they face a rapidly changing agricultural landscape.
And a new initiative is allowing people to get out and taste the best of what the valley has the offer.YARRA Valley farmers are encouraging locals to support them as they face a rapidly changing agricultural landscape.
And a new initiative is allowing people to get out and taste the best of what the valley has the offer.
Water, climate, land values and labour costs are some of the challenges confronting farmers across the region who are turning to technology and alternative business streams to stay ahead of the curve.
Fourth-generation cherry grower Steve Chapman and his brother Mark own Chappies in Silvan and are on the newly formed Yarra Valley U-Pick Trail, offering people the chance to fill up buckets and baskets with fresh local produce.
Industry Media Release - "Fruitful Trade Meeting with China"
9 November 2017
- Australia and China agreed to protocols providing market access for the first time for Aussie peaches, plums and apricots and improved access for cherries, table grapes, and citrus.
- Protocols were signed at a High-level Dialogue between Australian and Chinese officials in Sydney today.
Australian horticulture producers and exporters received a boost today, with Australia and China agreeing to new market access protocols for peaches, plums and apricots and improved access for Australian cherries, table grapes and citrus.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, said the new agreements will deliver practical and commercially viable export opportunities for Australia's summerfruit producers and exporters.
"Opening and improving agricultural market access is a priority for the Coalition Government, as exports underpin the profitability of our agriculture sector and support valuable farmgate returns," Minister Hartsuyker said.
"These agreements with China will support new and improved market access for a range of valuable and important Australian horticulture commodities and will complement the access already achieved for Australian nectarines.
"It means Australian peaches, plums and apricots will soon be joining Australian nectarines on the shelves of Chinese supermarkets and greengrocers, just in time for the upcoming export season, and as a result of tariff cuts under the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement—Australia's horticultural exports will be even more competitive."
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said China is one of Australia's most important trading partners and this is welcome news for our $9 billion horticulture industry as a whole.
"The agreements will also see improvements to the existing conditions for Australian cherries, citrus and table grapes, to provide better access for Australian exporters," Assistant Minister Ruston said.
"Exports of cherries, citrus and table grapes to China were worth over $230 million in 2016-17. The improvements in the protocols for these products will allow Australian producers and exporters to take advantage of the improved conditions to export more fruit to China in the upcoming season.
"This year looks on par with one of our better years"
The cherry harvest in Victoria has been slowed down slightly by cooler weather at the start of Spring, but it is just about to get underway.
"We are a few days away," explains Tim Jones from Wandin Valley Farms. "The first cherry picked will be for the domestic market, it will be the Earlise variety. Then we hope to be harvesting the Royal Hazel variety by the end of next week, this will hopefully be for export."
Wandin Valley has orchards in Tasmania as well as in Victoria and Tim expects the season to go on until the end of January.
Cherries top sweet horticulture trade with Vietnam
- · New conditions agreed for export of Australian cherries to Vietnam
- · Australia agreed new conditions for export of Vietnamese dragon fruit to Australia
- · Both nations continue to work effectively towards horticulture market access priorities
Australia and Vietnam have welcomed new conditions that will see the export of Aussie cherries to Vietnam in time for the 2017–18 season.
On announcing the agreed new conditions in Can Tho, Vietnam, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the new trade reflected a bilateral partnership moving from strength to strength—hot on the heels of the agreed new conditions for the export of Vietnamese dragon fruit to Australia.
“Our trading relationship with Vietnam now spans four decades, with two-way trade topping $2.8 billion in agriculture alone,” Minister Ruston said.
“Both nations have established clear market access priorities for horticulture commodities and I am very pleased to see genuine progress being made towards the best possible outcomes for the horticulture industries in both countries.
“This outcome is great news for the Australian cherry industry—access for cherries was our top priority in Vietnam.”
Minister Ruston said that through the Vietnam Australia Agriculture Forum, both countries have been consistently working towards establishing the biosecurity conditions that would support safe, two-way trade in horticultural commodities.
“The processes we have in place with Vietnam are working very effectively,” she said.
“At the recent meeting of our technical experts in Hanoi, both countries had positive discussions about our next horticulture market access priorities and I look forward to continuing our strong two-way trade relationship with Vietnam.
“We are also working closely with Vietnam to improve the existing market access conditions for Australian oranges, mandarins and table grapes.”
Export conditions are now agreed for cherries and dragon fruit so that trade in both commodities can commence as soon as possible.
Minister Ruston is in Vietnam from 22–26 August, representing Australia at the APEC high-level ministerial dialogue on food security and sustainable agriculture.
· Exports of cherries have steadily increased each year from 2011-12 to 2015-16, rising from $16 million to $76 million.
· Australia exported over 5,600 tonnes of cherries in 2015-16.