CHINESE company Chevalier is finalising a deal to buy Moraitis, Australia's largest fresh produce supplier to supermarkets.
It is expected to take a 70 per cent stake in the Moraitis business - valued at $200 million - taking over from a private equity investor, and half of the Moraitis family shares.
Produce Marketers Association of Australia spokesman Michael Worthington said Chevalier was likely to mean more fruit and vegetable exports to Asia, and more contracts for growers.
Aussie fruit demand grows
COLES supermarket says the festive season has seen demand for Australian produce soar by 40 per cent.
It said shoppers across the country bought 23 million tonnes of Australian-grown fresh fruit and vegies at Coles stores last week.
This saw sales of Australian-grown berries and grapes double to 1.8 million punnets and almost one million kilograms respectively.
Shoppers also bought 325,000kg of cherries.
Researchers assist Fiji
AUSSIE horticultural researchers are helping Fijian farmers produce a regular source of high quality vegetables in an attempt to boost supplies.
The aim is to boost food security and reduce poverty in the region.
Researchers from the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative, part of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland, recently conducted a review into fresh vegetable supplies in Fiji.
Citrus export reforms
THE citrus industry is relieved Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig will support its recommendation on the phasing out of export efficiency powers for horticulture.
The citrus industry will retain the powers to export to a single importer in China and the US for another two years.
Horticulture Australia Limited industry committees will review market conditions and set minimum prices during this time.
The single US importer arrangement will be replaced by a HAL Citrus to US committee from February 1 next year.
Citrus Australia chief executive Judith Damiani said it was the best the industry could have hoped for.
"This is a good outcome for the Australian citrus industry after what has been a very challenging consultation period for Citrus Australia," Ms Damiani said.
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