Cherry industry bears fruit in Japan

CHERRIES grown near New Norfolk are selling for $50 per kilogram in Japan following a successful move by Reid Fruits. Federal Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, recently congratulated Tim Reid for breaking in to the lucrative Japanese market.

Based at Plenty, opposite the Salmon Ponds, Reid Fruits has overcome market access challenges to ship 17.5 tonnes of premium Satonishiki cherries which retail at A$50 per kilo in Japan – the homeland of this unique cherry. Until recently, Reid Fruits could only access Japan if their produce was fumigated, a process reducing end-product quality in a market that demands the highest standards.

The company is the only large-scale southern hemisphere commercial grower of the Satonishiki cherry. Mr Crean said the win demonstrated how Australia’s sophisticated agricultural producers, aided by improved market access, could deliver regional jobs to Australians. “Reid Fruits employ 12 permanent and 300 seasonal workers during production, and now expect to increase total employment to 500 seasonal and permanent staff, demonstrating how trade can help build employment and prosperity in difficult times,” Mr Crean said.

Dick Adams, Federal Member for Lyons, said the additional jobs would be welcome in the Derwent Valley area. “Mr Reid, with assistance of the Australian Government’s Austrade has shown what is possible for primary producers in the Derwent Valley region. This is a real boon for the region in terms of jobs and also international focus for the Derwent Valley,” he said.

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