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A trial to support opportunities for NSW cherry exports into international markets, like Indonesia, has been a sweet success with more than 3,000 kilograms of cherries sent into the Asian market under a new irradiation protocol.  

Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee said the success of the trial and interest in NSW cherries will provide a strong platform to work from next harvest, with the potential of around 20,000 kilograms from NSW producers available to the Indonesian market.

“Despite a delay to the 2016 harvest due to wet weather, more than 3,000 kilograms of cherries were exported to Indonesia under the irradiation protocol, with an additional 4,000 kilograms exported under the methyl bromide (MB) protocol,” Mr Gee said.

“We have been trying to negotiate better export protocols to get our products into the vast Asian markets for a number of years now and this is definitely a step in the right direction. But there’s more to be done, and I’ll be continuing discussions with our growers and representatives in Canberra.”

The fruit was promoted through the NOW! In Season program (NiS) – a multi-industry, multi-country integrated promotional program designed to raise awareness of the advantages of quality, safe and healthy Australian horticulture products.

On average, Indonesian consumers paid the following prices (converted to $AUD) across a range of supermarkets:

  • $21 for a 340g punnet, equivalent to $61/kg;
  • $14 for a 332g punnet, equivalent to $42/kg; and
  • from $60 to $90 for 2kg boxes

NSW Farmers Orange Branch chair, Bruce Reynolds said without the support of the Australian Government and the Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, this new market would not have been opened to industry.

“The cherry industry is keen to grow in the Central West, but the domestic market is oversupplied and the industry needs to develop new overseas markets to grow and prosper,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Indonesia is showing great prospects to be a strong market into the future and we look forward to working in partnership with the Australian government to gain access into other Asian markets using these export protocols.”  

The NSW Department of Primary Industries is currently conducting quality testing on irradiated cherries at different dose rates, with the results to be published in coming months.