Nationals Member for Cowper and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minster, Luke Hartsuyker, has arranged for Australian blueberries and other Australian fruits to be featured in Jakarta during Indonesia-Australia Business Week (IABW).
Mr Hartsuyker said his visit to Jakarta provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen Australia’s relationship with its Indonesian trading partners and promote mutually beneficial commercial opportunities in both countries.
“Our delegation of industry and government representatives today participated in a horticulture round table breakfast, where discussions centred on enhancing our trade in horticultural products like blueberries,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Delegates at the breakfast enjoyed Australian blueberry Danishes and pastries, along with Australian table grapes and plums.
“Blueberry production has been rising sharply year-on-year on the NSW North Coast, with production rising significantly in 2016. I am eager to promote trading opportunities for Australian blueberry businesses as widely as possible.
“Australian blueberries farmers are now producing 6,000 tonnes of blueberries each year, with a farmgate value of $120 million— numbers that can only rise with improved market access and more extensive trading networks.
“If we can enhance market access for our premium horticultural products, we create the right conditions for small businesses to expand their operations, employ more Australian workers and make greater contributions to their local economies.
“Indonesia is Australia’s third largest market for fruit exports. We all have an interest in strengthening this partnership to enable a stable market for Australian exporters and a steady supply of competitively priced horticultural products into Indonesia. “
Andrew Bell of Mountain Blue Farms participated in the round table on behalf of the Australian Blueberry Growers Association. Mr Bell said expanding export opportunities for Australian blueberries is vital.
“Australia’s blueberry industry is growing strongly. It is very important to open new markets for our berries so we can maintain prices and ensure we have sufficient demand for our products into the future,” Mr Bell said.
“With its growing middle class and geographical proximity to Australia, Indonesia has great potential as a market for more Australian blueberries.
“The Australian Embassy has helped arrange a number of meetings with local industry to promote the benefits of Australian blueberries.”
The Australian government is offering grants for projects aimed at promoting cooperation in accessing international markets through the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) programme. More information is available at agriculture.gov.au/atmac.