Market knowledge key to building on Australia's Goulburn Valley's pear exports to Indonesia

By Geoffrey Gold

A new Australian Pear Promotion Campaign under the branding “Grown in Good Nature” has been launched in Indonesia to build on the 1,000 tonnes of pears exported from Australia to Indonesia in 2021.
According to Ms Hannah Wade, agriculture-focused commissioner of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in Jakarta, “a range of premium quality fresh Australian pears which will be available now from August to October at retail stores across Indonesia. We think that the different taste profiles of the new varieties of pears like Rico, a red blush pear, will appeal to a broad range of consumers”.

New Australian Pear Promotion Campaign launch on 2 Sep 2022 at The Ayana MidPlaza Jakarta Hotel

Mr Ayub A Fina, Chair of Indonesia's fruit and vegetable importers association ASSIBISINDO, concurred. While Indonesia is a large and growing market for pears, it is competitive, he said, and the best opportunities for Australia are "(1) new red pear varieties, (2) Packham-branded promotions at modern retailers, and (3) instore merchandising and retailer support".
About 90% of Australia’s pears, and almost 50% of Australia’s apples, are grown in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria, about 200 km north of Melbourne. Often referred to as Australia’s ‘Food Bowl’, the region is a major exporter of fruits, vegetables, dairy and processed foods.  
“This region has just the right climatic conditions for producing sweet and firm pears,” explained Dr Irawan Budianto, Trade Director at the Victorian Government Trade and Investment Southeast Asia office in Jakarta, in a statement. ”We are delighted to be able to provide fresh pears direct from Victoria orchards to customers in Jakarta. The short shipping times from Australia to Indonesia means our pears get to market quickly and in top condition, ensuring consumers can enjoy them at their best”.
While major GV businesses have traded with Indonesia for decades, big investments in automation have increased the region’s production capacity at lower costs and focused attention on expanding exports to broader markets.

In March, a workshop on increasing trade with Indonesia was held in the region’s main city, Shepparton, by the Australia Indonesia Business Council (AIBC)’s Food & Agriculture Group in partnership with Global Victoria and the Consulate General of Indonesia in Melbourne. Subsequently the Greater Shepparton City Council has included Indonesia as a highlighted market in its International Engagement Strategy “to broaden exploration of trade opportunities from a previous emphasis on … predominately China”.
Greater Shepparton’s new mayor, Cr Shane Sali has welcomed more contact with Indonesia for new opportunities for regional businesses and industry groups.