Australia's main export strawberry season is expected to kick off early this year thanks to West Australian growers adopting new varieties and planting methods this year. This season many of the growers in Western Australia have planted 'leaf-on' runners which are much faster to establish than their traditional 'leaf-off' plantings. This earlier establishment has meant that growers have started harvesting their strawberries almost six weeks earlier than in previous seasons.
Leading strawberry exporter Ti Produce Marketing expects their first shipments to be arriving in South East Asia as early as the third week of July. "We are seeing some excellent berries coming through and pricing is very quickly approaching the critical point at which we can start to export," says Ti Produce's Export Manager, Jamie Michael. He goes on to explain, "Our new 'leaf-on' transplants combined with increased plant numbers and favorable weather conditions mean that we are not just expecting an early crop, but we are expecting much larger volumes of fruit for export this season."
Australian strawberries are shipped throughout South East Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific region and at this time of the year Australian strawberries must face tough competition from US to gain a share of the export market. Mr Michael explained, "Fortunately for us the season is not just early but our quality is superb so we are able to offer our customers a new season product that will stand up alongside anything that is in the market."
The Western Australian strawberry season starts now and runs through until the end of November.