Lucy Gregg (pt 1) Gaining access to the Japanese and Korean cherry markets

Uploaded by ABARESoutlook2012 on 28.04.2012


Today I'm just going to give you an insight into
Tasmania's access into Korea and Japan.
And we've been very fortunate that we have had
several market access gains into these overseas
markets, and that has put it in good stead into the future.

And it's potentially a model that other
industries across Australia are also looking at.
Market access is a complicated and
time-consuming process.
And I guess the interesting thing about it
from our perspective is that there is a lot of
focus on imports into Australia.
But we now have the ability to look at it from
the other perspective of actually trying to import
into other countries.
And I guess this case study is quite
interesting, because Korea and Japan are potentially
two of the more difficult countries to get market
access into, so we can give our experience of the
market access.
Tasmania's export market development has stemmed
from the fact that we've got a long-standing export culture.

And most of you here would know that Tasmania for
many, many decades was known as the Apple Isle.
Now, we like to think of ourselves as the Cherry
Isle, and I suspect maybe in another 10 or 20 years,
we'll be known as the Barrier Isle.
But our climate is suitable for growing
premium quality timber and fruit.
There's been significant growth and investment in
the cherry industry in Tasmania since 2000,
and that's largely been through the fact that many
apple growers have diversified into cherries.
And the reason for that is that Tasmania is the last
cherry-producing region in the Southern Hemisphere.
So that gives us a niche window into Northern
Hemisphere markets, which is more advantageous than
even New Zealand or Chile, who finish about two
weeks prior to us.
So that's where we've seen our niche window.
And because of our costs of production--and Bass
Strait in particular--we need to focus on these
high, high niche end value markets,
which we perceive Japan and Korea are.
And certainly, when we started our market access
application into South Korea,
it had the highest standard of living in the
OECD, and it fitted our target market really well.
We also knew that we had to develop a diversity of
export markets, and that was what we formed our
export strategy.
And that stemmed also from the fact,
in 2005, we lost market access into Taiwan,
which accounted for 70% of our fruit,
or our cherry exports.
And although we were able to gain access quite
quickly compared to our mainland counterparts who
took nearly five years to re-gain market access,
we knew then that we had to ensure that we had a
diversity of export markets in case we lost
market access again.
And that's recently happened--as of the
first of January,
we've lost market access to Thailand,
which is our fourth biggest market for cherries.

And as I said before, we're capturing niche
export opportunities based on our reputation for
premium fruit.

I guess Tasmania's lucky in the fact that we have a
unique quarantine status.
And we've already heard the fact that we have area
freedom from fruit fly.
And that certainly has given us a significant
advantage when we're trying to gain market access.

Our market access is very comparable to New Zealand's.

New Zealand doesn't have fruit fly.
And we've been very fortunate in the fact that
New Zealand have actually tried to gain market
access into Korea and Japan for cherries prior
to us, so we were able to learn from their market
access activities how we could actually gain market
access as well.
Our risk perception, from an importing country's
perception, is the fact that we're an island.
We can actually control our quarantine and
biosecurity really well.
And for countries such as Taiwan and Japan--which
are actually islands themselves--they relate
very much to our island status,
so that also puts us in good stead.
Our engagement with the general public in Tasmania
is also very important, and we worked very hard on that.

In fact, this year, we have run fruit fly
commercials on our commercial television
stations in Tasmania, really highlighting to
people how important our quarantine and biosecurity status is.

What's also made our market access applications
a little bit easier is the fact that cherries are
counter seasonal to Northern Hemisphere.
Whereas apples are basically,
can have a shelf life of 10,
12 months, cherries don't have a shelf life.
Once they are picked and packed,
they need to be moved very quickly.
So therefore, growers and industries in the Northern
Hemisphere don't see us as trying to compete with
them, so it does make it a little bit easy when
you're looking at gaining market access.

Market access, for those of you who've been
involved in it, can be a very time-consuming
process, and I'll actually go in more depth to that.
But we've been very, very fortunate,
in the fact that we have actually had quite a few
market access achievements in recent years.
We did get market access to China for apples back
in 1997, and unfortunately that was an unworkable
commercial protocol, which is also something that
does happen.
And that's why you need to have a very strong
relationship with DAFF and AQIS,
to ensure that all the protocols that we get are
very commercially viable.
But going through--obviously our area freedom
from fruit fly is recognised by many countries.

And having that recognition of area
freedom certainly sees us in gaining and maintaining
our market access status.
I won't go through all of those.
But as you can see, we've been quite proactive in
our market access activities.

The strategy for market access is quite simple.
You need to work collaboratively.
And we have always had a model,
of which is actually now the OHMA model--or the
Office of Horticultural Market Access model--is
the fact that you have to work at three major things.

The government-to-government relationships,
you have to have strong science and research,
and it must be commercially focussed.
And those things have to be developed all at the
one time to have a good market access.

From government to government,
it's really important that high level negotiations
are done at the DAFF level or the DFAT level with the
importing country.
And we back up that and provide all the
information that they want,
and we have close relationships with DAFF
during those negotiations.
We also have very strong support from our Tasmanian
state government.
And that does make a big difference.
And in 2006 and 2008, our state government led fruit
industry trade missions to North Asia.
Now, they were to underpin all the action,
activities being done at a federal government level.

So these negotiations were there to support and
start relationships.
And that's very, very important,
that we have good relationships.
Tasmania is a state with other countries through
NAFF or BAFF or whoever we're dealing with.

The other thing that we also have is we try and
develop a strong relationship with our Ag
counsellors in the different countries.
And also, Austrade are a very valuable resource.
Their on the ground knowledge is a
great help particularly in relation to the commercial
aspects of it.

Here are just some photos from overseas.
We, our minister David Llewellyn,
who's no longer our minister.
But he was certainly a strong advocate of market
access and good, strong relationhips with our trading partners.

And that's very important that you develop those,
to ensure that if there is an issue,
then we can address that issue very quickly.
And that was very evident in the Taiwan situation.
When we did lose market access,
our state minister came over and literally within
a couple of months, we had re-gained access.
And that was just due to our good relationships.

Good science and research.
We have a strong State Department of Primary
Industries which supports our research,
and we work collaboratively with them.
The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture,
once again liaise very closely with industry and
the State Department in ensuring that research is
focussed on maintaining our biosecurity and ensuring
that we've got best practice.
It's also important that we pre-empt potential issues.

And for those who deal in horticulture,
we know that any country at any time can change the
rules, and the situation of Thailand,
they can review their quarantine procedures,
and we need to ensure that we can pre-empt some of
those and have the satisfactory science which
we can present to them if we need to.
I have used AQIS there, but state AQIS involvement
is really important.
And we're very lucky in Tasmania in the fact that
the provision of AQIS services is actually done
through Quarantine Tasmania,
so we have a strong working relationship with them.

We also engage growers in a lot of our research
trials, and that's so they can understand what we're
trying to do.
But also, we need to understand that trials in
the field are going to reflect more closely
what's going to actually happen than trials based
in the laboratory.
And particularly when we do work in Japan,
they are very much focussed on in-field trials,
so we got that replication of data.

Once again, the local Quarantine support's very important.

And we have a very close working relationship with Quarantine.

We brief all new quarantine officers about
the Tasmanian industry, about our focus on export.
And we also ensure that we have pre-season and
post-season briefings, we get,
them in with the agronomist,
so we understand all the pest and disease pressures.

And once again, we're always looking at ensuring
that we're pre-empting any potential issues which
might arise.
The local Quarantine are also very good at looking
after our visiting quarantine officers from
different countries.
And I think that's also put us in very good stead.
We often know that quarantine officers who
come out to audit the Tasmanian industry can
potentially be future leaders of Quarantine.
So they come out here, we give them a good
experience, and they really appreciate where
we're coming from, and having the local
Quarantine support really reinforces that.