Hong Kong's Chevalier Group may have horticulture interest

NEWS a Hong Kong conglomerate may be holding discussions with the major wholesaler, the Moraitis Group, with a view to acquiring a significant stake has been of interest this week.

While it is speculation at the moment, the press has reported the Hong Kong-listed Chevalier Group is the sole bidder for part of the Moraitis family's 50% stake and part of the 49% held by Catalyst Investment Managers, a private equity firm.

This could be a good example of foreign investment that directly leads to an increase in domestic productivity.


This particular development, if it comes to fruition, could be good news for horticulture.

It has been suggested Chevalier wishes to expand the Moraitis business to tap into growing Asian demand for Australian produce.

A business with established distribution networks into Asia that wants to prioritise exports would be a desirable investment in the industry and an important catalyst for increased production for sound reasons.

This could be a good example of foreign investment that directly leads to an increase in domestic productivity.

Earlier this year, we welcomed the release of the LNP's vision to double food production by 2040 and their commitment to a long-term policy framework identifying the key planks required to achieve that vision.

Increasing the volume of exports will be a vital contributor to achieving that goal.

As we outlined in our submission on the Federal Government's Asian Century White Paper earlier this year, opportunities for horticulture lie in exporting fresh, high quality produce to the expanding Asian middle class.

This opportunity is further enhanced by a large proportion of Australian production being counter-seasonal to that in most of Asia. Australia needs a strategic approach to identifying and developing new high value and high growth export markets.

A company like Chevalier with well-established links into Asia would certainly help determine issues such as produce markets, supply chains and the most appropriate crops to grow for export.

Topics:  alex livingstone growcom horticulture

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