“Safe, sweet and healthy.”This is the promise of Citrus Australia, the country’s national citrus growers who push for the development and marketing of Australian oranges and other citrus products in the local and international market.
The official launch of Australian oranges in the Philippines took place on July 31 at Makati City residence of Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell, which helped raise awareness on the availability and benefits of their proud produce.
“Australian oranges have long enjoyed a reputation for being the sweetest in the world. And very importantly, Australian farmers are known for being pollution-free with high standards of food safety. We are proud of our Australian oranges, which are ‘safe, sweet, and healthy,’” the ambassador said in his welcome remarks.
“We are happy to collaborate with Citrus Australia in introducing the world’s sweetest oranges to the Philippines. This is also the best time to do so during the Australian winter, when oranges are best in season,” he added.
This delectable orange product has only been available in the country since 2013, with 600 tons delivered and sold in the Philippine market. This initial introduction to Filipino consumers has been rated “a good start” by Citrus Australia, which looks forward to “a lasting citrusy relationship” with the country.
“Since the Philippines’ Bureau of Plant Industry changed its policy about two years ago, the Australian government and Citrus Australia have been active in bringing in our oranges. Although 600 tons is low compared to the Japanese market which consumes 1,000 tons of Australian oranges, it has been a good start for us and we do see that with more awareness, this number in the Philippines could grow,” David Daniels, market access manager of Citrus Australia told The Manila Times.
The launch, dubbed as “Australian Oranges—Now in Season,” presented the health benefits of citrus fruit, and how Australians are very much attached to oranges, with the highest regard for food safety and quality in all its products.
“Australian oranges are very tasty because of the farming practices we have followed for many generations, the varieties Australian farmers grow, and because Australia is blessed with climatic and soil attributes ideal for growing the world’s best oranges,” said Andrew Harty, Citrus Australia’s general manager for Market Development.
Citrus Australia executives further discussed their world-class food safety techniques that make all their agricultural products, including oranges, the safest products in the international market.
“Every batch of oranges is tracked from the farm to the packing house, and then on the ship during its voyage to the Philippines. In this way, every box of Australian oranges purchased can be traced back to the farm they were grown. Also, Australian packing houses send samples of oranges to laboratories for testing to ensure food safety,” Daniels said.
As part of the growing agricultural trade between two nations, senior trade commissioner for Austrade Anthony Weymouth said that the Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) with the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) enables the most temperate fruits from Australia to enter the Philippines tariff-free. This allows Filipinos easier access to Australian food products that are now readily available in leading retail stores nationwide.
“Australian Oranges—Now in Season” includes a month-long retail promotion by Citrus Australia and the Australian Embassy covering key groceries and supermarkets in Metro Manila. It runs from August through September in major supermarkets and grocery stores with sampling activities every weekend Robinson’s Supermarket, Rustan’s Fresh, Rustan’s Supermarket and Shopwise.