The cherry is finally on top in China

Media release | 9 November 2018

For the first time, Chinese consumers will be able to enjoy the freshest cherries from NSW orchards within four days of harvest.

Minister for Primary Industries, Trade and Industry, Niall Blair made the announcement at a supermarket in Guangzhou, where the first air freighted cherries were ready to be sold.

“Previously, NSW cherries were only shipped via sea, taking up to 21 days to reach China. With access to new treatment technology, we now expect them to arrive in a matter of days. This means better tasting cherries for Chinese consumers and a huge boost for NSW producers,” Mr Blair said.

“China is a premium market for our growers with prices for freshly air freighted cherries expected to reach $70/kg.

“This has been a long time coming - to be tasting cherries picked only days ago from home now in a Guangzhou supermarket is a huge achievement for both industry and government.

“NSW cherry growers have the advantage of being one of the first states able to harvest in Australia, allowing our growers to be the ‘cherry on top’ in China, and deservedly so.

“This news couldn’t come at a better time as NSW producers struggle through one of the worst droughts in 40 years.”

NSW cherry exports were worth $6.75 million in 2017/18 and these new export arrangements have the potential to boost the value of exports by more than 10 per cent.

The Central West region produces 70 per cent of the cherries grown in NSW and approximately 50 per cent of Australia’s total production.

Domestic demand for cherries has plateaued in recent years and growers are increasingly looking to international markets, in particular in Asia, to strengthen and secure their future.

NSW cherry growers already export to Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Vietnam by air.

Australian cherries in China.