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Visit to India proves berry fruitful

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, welcomed news that the first Australian blueberries exported to India are now available in Indian grocery stores. The commencement of exports was supported by the Assistant Minister’s recent trip to India, as part of Australia Business Week in India (ABWI).

“During my visit to India, I promoted opportunities for exports of Australian agricultural products to this highly valuable and important market,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“I am pleased that ABWI has proved beneficial for Australia’s blueberry industry, with the first Australian blueberries now available in grocery stores for Indian consumers to enjoy.

“India was our fifth-largest agricultural export market in 2016-17, with exports valued at $3.1 billion, up 475 per cent since 2011-12. Exports of blueberries will further increase the value of this market to Australia.

“Australia has an impressive global reputation for producing high-quality, clean produce and our work in supporting these new exports demonstrates the Government’s commitment to expanding trade links—to benefit our industry and nation.

“It shows the value of working with our international trading partners to identify and progress new trade opportunities, to support the ongoing productivity and profitability of Australia’s agriculture industries.”

Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam (KPN) Group, established in 1965, is the first importer of Australian blueberries into India. KPN is one of the premium retailers of fruit and vegetables in southern India, serving 30,000 customers a day.

In 2016, Australia exported $8.9 million worth of blueberries to almost 20 countries, including $4.4 million to Hong Kong. At industry’s request, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources successfully negotiated market access for blueberries to India in September 2015.

Demand for agricultural produce in India is forecast to increase by 136 per cent between 2009 and 2050, according to ABARES research. Fruit consumption is also anticipated to rise by nearly 250 per cent by 2050, with the popularity of nutrient-rich and versatile blueberries expected to significantly increase over coming years.

“We have a growing two-way trade in many agricultural commodities and products and we will continue to pursue two-way trade and investment opportunities,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“The Government is committed to identifying export opportunities across the globe, for the mutual benefit of Australian farmers and producers and consumers abroad.”

Source: Australian Government

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