Over 100 Australian vegetable growers and industry contributors have heard from an impressive roster of experts on Japanese trade at today’s AUSVEG Exporting to Japan Symposium, at the Cairns Convention Centre.

“Japan is Australia’s strongest trade partner in the Asian region. Taking advantage of this relationship, the Exporting to Japan Symposium was an excellent opportunity for vegetable growers who are interested in expanding their businesses into this growing market,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development, Hayden Moore.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“Strategies, tactics and tips were considered at the Symposium, both for growers looking to get their foot in the export door, as well as more experienced horticultural exporters,” said Mr Moore.

The Symposium was designed to increase understanding of the Japanese marketplace and consumer demands, explore cultural considerations, and facilitate trade and networking opportunities between buyers and vegetable growers.

“Vegetable exports function as a lucrative staple of the Australia-Japan trade relationship. Since 2007 alone, vegetable exports to Japan have increased by 26 per cent, reaping a profit of over $10 million,” said Mr Moore.

“In light of the recently-announced Free Trade Agreement with Japan, horticultural opportunities from trade are projected to increase. As a result, now is the perfect time for growers to start exporting and establish themselves in the Japanese market.”

Speakers at the event included Catherine Taylor, Austrade Consulate General and Senior Trade Commissioner from Osaka, Professor Masayoshi Honma from the school of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tokyo, and Mr Onishi Mashahiro, Commodities Buyer and representative from major Japanese retailer AEON.

“International trade will become essential to the future success of the horticulture industry. AUSVEG runs events such as this to assist vegetable growers in taking advantage of export opportunities, and profit from expanding trade markets, like those found in Japan,” said Mr Moore.

“Through the Exporting to Japan Symposium, AUSVEG has opened the door for vegetable growers to develop their own export operations, and further capitalise upon the high quality vegetable produce grown in Australia.”

The project has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.

MEDIA CONTACT: Hayden Moore, Spokesperson, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9882 0277 | Mobile: 0408 132 503 | E-mail: hayden.moore@ausveg.com.au