robotic arm picking grapesNorthern Australia has long been regarded as an important gateway to the emerging markets of Asia. However, horticultural industries in the region have yet to take full advantage of international market opportunities, largely because meeting domestic market needs has dominated.

This research investigates highly targeted, high value niche markets with a comprehensive market assessment of new opportunities in markets across key countries and locations in the region. The evaluation for three horticultural industries (lychee, avocado and mango) focuses on supply capacity, supply chain and market dynamics in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and South Korea.

The research project explores past development and future growth patterns in these industries by:

  • Benchmarking historical developments of the industries, including size, production, productivity measures and export development in order to understand capacity and scalability limitations;
  • Exploring potential opportunities for growth, including market analysis, resource status, transport and logistic supply chains (including cold chain), and logistic synergies with other existing industries such as mining, information technology, original equipment manufacturers, rail, air and sea transport.

Areas of research and analysis include:

  • Country and Market Segment profiling
  • Consumer trends and insights
  • Value chain analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Channels to market analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Supply Chain mapping
  • Market positioning dimensions
  • System enablers
  • Value Additions
  • New products & technologies assessment
  • Government policies & regulation review

Research outcomes will identify potential high priority strategies for industry and regional development and provide guidance on where to support strategic development actions within industry and to direct major investments for Horticultural Innovation in Northern Australia.

Project Benefits

The objective of the research is to support a dramatic and robust expansion of the exports of high value horticultural products from Northern Australia to high margined Asian markets through integrating market dynamics and supply capacity with efficient and resilient supply chains. Working within a cooperative framework with Northern Australia’s horticultural growers, researchers and peak industry bodies, this research will provide key market information to inform and strategically support their future decision making by creating a well evidenced business case for targeted entry and expansion in high margin markets

New products, technologies, practices and markets, coupled with access to expansive land point to the possibility of scaling up production in high quality, high margin commodities to generate the export revenues that can also build, expand and revitalise communities in Northern Australia.

Expected outcomes include:

  • Improved export performance in the medium and long term, with a greater share of national GDP contributed by Northern Australia.
  • An increase of R&D investment from lead exporting growers by 10 per cent to pursue new identified opportunities.
  • 20 per cent of growers in the three nominated industries will either increase the proportion of their exports or will export for the first time.
  • Increased returns on export volume with a shift to high value, high margin products and markets.
  • Outcomes from the three initial crops will be used to inform strategies for other horticultural industries.

Project members

Associate Professor Damian Hine

Director, APEI
Australian Institute for Business and Economics

Dr Shoufeng Cao

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Australian Institute for Business and Economics
Yumeng Spencer Tong

Mr Yumeng Tong

Research Assistant & Casual Research Assistant
Australian Institute for Business and Economics