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Grape expectations: new market for table grapes

New market access to Korea is expected to provide a multi million dollar windfall to Australia's table grape producers.
New market access to Korea is expected to provide a multi million dollar windfall to Australia's table grape producers.

AUSTRALIA'S table grape producers will benefit from access to a new market following the finalisation of conditions for the export of grapes to Korea.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said agreeing on import conditions for Australian table grapes with South Korean officials was a significant milestone for the $82 million a year industry.

"New market access for Australian table grapes, coupled with the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), is fantastic news for the industry," Mr Joyce said.

"Other major fruit exporting nations such as New Zealand and South Africa are yet to finalise free trade agreements with Korea.

"Australia currently exports more than 60% of our agricultural product and it is essential we are always looking for ways to expand our market opportunities and to increase the return to our producers," Mr Joyce said.

"These import conditions will allow Australia's excellent produce to reach this valuable market and provide opportunities for our thriving horticulture industry and the producers and communities that rely on it to increase returns at the farmgate."

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Table Grape Association Inc. (ATGA), Jeff Scott, said the successful negotiation and market access achievement was the result of close collaboration between the ATGA and the Minister's department.

"We expect trade to occur later in this coming harvest season once arrangements for the implementation are completed," Mr Scott said.

"This gain of market access is great news for the Australian table grape industry as access to the Korean market will help our industry to continue to grow."

The ATGA expects trade over the next three to five years will be worth approximately $35 million.

Topics:  exports free trade agreement horticulture viticulture