California plums will add significantly to the counter-seasonal stone fruit category in Australia from 2015, following access being approved by Australian quarantine authorities.
Marcy Martin, Trade Director with California Fresh Fruit Association, said success over the past two seasons for California white and yellow-fleshed peaches and nectarines indicated there will also be good demand for plums.
“At recent meetings I attended in Australia with major retailers and importers, all were positive about the prospects for California plums. In addition, they felt the range of varieties and quality of California plums could reinvigorate the market for Australian plum growers during the Australian season”, Marcy Martin observed.
Demand for California peaches and nectarines continues to grow. Almost 500,000 cartons (9.6kg) were shipped to Australia in 2014, the first full supply season after access was approved in July 2013.
Because of the strict protocol, all fruit has been air-freighted, after pre-clearance in California by Australian quarantine inspectors. Although the protocol adds significant costs, demand has been excellent.
Plums will also likely be air-freighted. The supply season is forecast to start in late May and continue until October.
“The California Fresh Fruit Association has commenced planning extensive trade, retail and consumer promotions for 2015 and beyond for plums, complementing the programs already under way for peaches and nectarines”, Marcy Martin concluded.