Antico International's first year of air shipment into China proves successful

Antico International says it was an exciting development for the country to be able export cherries from the Australian mainland directly into the Chinese market by air for the first time.

"We had a fantastic season this year for the mainland (Australia) as well as Tasmania," Export Manager Oliver Wang said. "This was the first year direct with fumigation, from the mainland. We did really well for the first year."

Due to an early season, Antico's cherry season finished this week, meaning that it will not be supplying fruit for Chinese New Year this year - but he says approximately 300 tonnes were sent in the initial year.

"A majority of the fruit goes to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou - they're the three main cities we send to," Mr Wang said. "We also supply directly into second tier cities in China with fresh cherry on arrival. Today will be the last day of packing the Tasmanian cherries, so we will be finished before Chinese New Year, which is good because all supply chain and Customs will stop before Chinese New Year. So, it is good for us to finish on time."

The main varieties sent into China throughout the season were Simone, Samba, Lapin, Sweetheart, Sweet Georgia, Rons and others - and Mr Wang says this year's size and quality is above average.

"Australian fruit is always the best," Mr Wang said. "Cherries are always exported by air, with a great reputation. Customers always look for the Australian products. There is very strong demand. Our fruit is tastier, fresher and better - so great gifts."

The harvest season for mainland cherries starts in Late October, while the Tasmanian cherry season starts in early January. Antico International also exports to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan (China). The company part owns cherry orchards in Young, in New South Wales, with access to over 1,400 acres of orchards, and also marketing for other growers in New South Wales/Victoria/Tasmania.

"In general, this year the weather conditions were alright," Mr Wang said. "Not like the previous year. Tasmania was quite steady too. It's been warmer than last year, so in general this year is not that bad."

With the cherry season all but finished, Antico International will now turn its focus to plum season (especially sugar plums) and table grapes. Throughout the year it also works with growers to produce apricots, citrus, and pears.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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