Free trade agreements with Australia’s major trading partners are helping to drive Australian nut exports to record new levels.
The nut industry has capitalised on the reduction in tariffs for Japan, South Korea and China with exports rising from $44 million in 2014 (pre-FTA) to $114 million in 2016.
Collectively Australian grown tree nuts have a farm gate value close to $1 billion and represent close to 50% of all Australian horticultural exports.
The industry has experienced unprecedented growth over the last decade, with value of production almost trebling since 2011. Exports have quadrupled in the same period.
Delegates to the recent biennial Australian Nut Conference (ANC) were told of the growing number of opportunities for nut growers in key export markets.
India was identified as a market with strong potential growth.
The two-day conference, held in Melbourne, brought together more than 200 key commercial players across the supply chain from the almond, macadamia, walnut, pecan, pistachio, chestnut and hazelnut sectors.
Mr Jolyon Burnett, Chair of the Australian Nut Industry Council (ANIC) said: “The growth and success of the conference is not surprising given the strong demand for Australian nuts.
“Nuts are ticking all the boxes for consumers right now. We are healthy, versatile, tasty and fit almost any diet regime.”
Millennials discover health benefits of nuts
Leading social demographer Bernard Salt opened the conference and shared insights into how to engage with consumers of the future.
And market research companies Nielsen Retail Solutions and Colmar Brunton released some interesting new statistics on the behaviour of Australian nut consumers, in particular, millennials.
Organisers say the research shows the potential to add $300 million to retail sales by increasing frequency of purchase.
One of the key drivers of increased nut consumption in Australia and overseas has been the well-documented health benefits.
Professor Jorge Salas-Salvado from Spain, Professor Katie Allen and Vicki McWilliam from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos from LaTrobe University presented the latest findings on why nuts continue to be an essential component in any healthy diet.
And International China expert, Mr Loren Puette of ChinaAg updated delegates on this important and rapidly growing market for Australian nuts.
The next Australian Nut Conference will be held in Sydney in 2019.