Australian vegetables have gone under the global spotlight with over 40 international produce buyers convening at the 2014 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence, as part of a Reverse Trade Mission (RTM).
In line with expectations that demand for fresh Australian vegetable produce is set to surge among the growing Asian middle classes, delegates representing retailers, importers and wholesalers from Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan attended the event.
"The massive amount of interest in participating in the RTM demonstrates that there is already huge demand for Australian vegetables in Asia," said AUSVEG National Manager - Export Development, Hayden Moore.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia's 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
"The fact we have double the number of buyers attending this year's event compared to 2013, gives you some idea of just how quickly that demand is growing."
During the weeklong RTM, delegates have visited wholesale markets, growing operations and a retail distribution centre in Queensland and New South Wales.
Australia's best produce
While attending the AUSVEG National Convention, they participated in a display of Australian produce and met with growers showing Australia's best produce.
"The Produce Displays were a great opportunity for growers who are exporting, or looking at exporting, to increase their international contacts and facilitate new business opportunities," said Moore.
"The influential fresh produce buyers convening during the RTM, will help Australian growers capitalise on the increased demand for high-quality, safe and fresh vegetables in Asia."
"Australian vegetables are perfectly positioned to fill a niche in the market across Asia, and meeting with these buyers will allow growers to seize this opportunity."
"As the mining boom tapers off, opening up lucrative export markets will not only benefit individual growers but the Australian economy as a whole, through job and wealth creation."
The Reverse Trade Mission will run from 16 to 22 June, and visited operations in Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane, before reaching the AUSVEG National Convention in Cairns.