The first shipment in 20 years of Western Australian citrus has been exported to Thailand, destined for supermarket shelves in Bangkok.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) facilitated the new trade relationship between Bindoon-based Northern Valley Packers and leading Thai importer CP Foods.
The initial consignment of 23 tonnes of navel oranges was shipped to Laem Chabang port in Thailand, with further consignments to follow in the 2023 season.
Thailand is Western Australia’s twelfth largest agrifood export market in Asia, worth $114 million per annum.
In the past four years to 2021-22, exports of WA beef to Thailand have grown from $2.2m to $25.9m, strawberries from $5.4m to $7m and carrots from $2m to $3.6m.
DPIRD Agribusiness Food and Trade Executive Director Liam O’Connell said Thailand was a growing market for Western Australian agrifood exports.
“The department is working hard to cultivate opportunities in Thailand market, which shows potential for export expansion,” Mr O’Connell said.
“In late September, DPIRD hosted several representatives from CP Foods to discover more about meat, seafood, dairy, horticulture and package food supplies from WA.”
DPIRD Primary Industries Trade Manager Joan Lim said visits by international delegations and attending food exhibitions like Asia Fruit Logistica are important tools to raise awareness and promote what WA suppliers have to offer to potential customers.
“Working alongside potential suppliers, like Northern Valley Packers, the department is seeking to build on these relationships to create new pathways to market for WA agrifood and beverage businesses,” Ms Lim said.
CP Foods has the largest retail footprint in Thailand, operating Siam Makro, Lotus and 7-Eleven stores across the country, with interests across the food service and restaurant sector.
Northern Valley Packers CEO Shane Kay said the support from DPIRD was instrumental in building awareness of WA agrifood products and forging new customer relationships.
“It was great to have the advice, market intelligence and introductions to facilitate business-to-business discussions and develop a new export market for our business,” Mr Kay said.
“This will be very important in assisting diversification of our export markets into the future.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with DPIRD and Austrade and consolidating this new export relationship with Thailand.”
Megan Broad/Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937/3137