METRO PLUS

Fresh from Australia

S.K

NOT TOO COSTLY: Australian apples are flooding the market.

NOT TOO COSTLY: Australian apples are flooding the market.  

EVER SINCE the opening of the fruit market in conformity with its obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Indians have been sampling the fruits of Australia, literally. Fresh apples, pears and citrus are today available in our market.

The latest in this addition is the `Australia Fresh' apples, a brand introduced by the Horticulture wing of Australia. This brand is different from the popular `Australian apple', currently available in the market.

"Australia Fresh is associated only with Australia's best fruit and vegetables. Apples packed and promoted under this brand meet rigorous international quality and safety standards," claims A.K. Tareen, Post Manager, Australian Trade Commission.

Approximately 1,500,000 cartons (18 kg equivalents) are exported each year under the `Australia Fresh' brand. One finds them at most of the supermarkets. When local apples sell nearly at the same rates, naturally people go for the best. Traditionally, Australian apples have been popular in Singapore and Malaysia. However, with the decline of these major centres, India is expected to surpass Singapore as the second largest market.

But with the Australian apple industry only one-tenth the size of India's, how feasible will it be to make an impact on the Indian consumer market?"We will focus mostly on counter-seasonal supply. Australia, which lies in the Southern hemisphere, can supply fresh apples to the consumers even after the Indian apple season ends," explains Tareen. Moreover, the clean environment, virtually free of many of the plant and animal diseases, makes Australia one of the world's healthiest apple growing countries.The promotion of the brand, is planned in association with India's leading retail outlets.

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