5 Feb 2013

Industry aims to send more apples to Australia in 2013

7:44 am on 5 February 2013

After its tentative start, the apple industry will be looking to send more apples to Australia this year.

Australia was finally re-opened to New Zealand apples in 2011, ending a 90-year ban.

But only small volumes of apples have been sent there in the past two seasons, as exporters and pack houses here struggled with very demanding quarantine conditions and the rejection of some early consignments.

However, Pipfruit New Zealand services manager Gary Jones says it hopes to start to build up exports in 2013.

Mr Jones says it has been important to get systems and protocols in place to ensure that there have been no failures in the pre-clearance programme.

There were no failures last year which allows the industry to change their programmes to make them even better and increase export volumes and the challenge now is to develop the demand and understanding to create greater interest in New Zealand apples in Australia, he says.

Mr Jones says volumes of New Zealand apples going into Australia have been small while the industry has been streamlining the process.

Pipfruit New Zealand is forecasting an increased export crop of almost 17 million cartons this year, with almost half of that destined for growing Asian and Middle Eastern markets.