John Said - Fresh Select

Supply of Australian veg a real challenge

At this time of the year Fresh Select have their full range of products available: Cauliflower, broccoli and all kinds of lettuce: iceberg, baby cos, gem. Brussels sprouts, cabbage of all kinds and also Caulini, sprouting cauliflower has been going for around 8 weeks already.

“There has been a high demand throughout COVID, driven by the fact that so many people are staying at home and cooking,” explains John Said from Fresh Select. “We have also seen less supply because we are still in drought from the summer so there is limited supply from around Australia, there has been quite a bit of inflation.”

A good percentage of the surplus from the lack of food service has been taken up by the domestic market.

“Export has been very difficult, partly through the domestic demand and because there has been limited air freight into Asia, and what is available is very expensive. We are only just getting back into it now. The only way we have got through it is by exporting through sea freight. It has been a real challenge to be honest. Prior to COVID we were going really well across Hong Kong and Singapore especially and into Malaysia, but since COVID it has been a real struggle to access those regions.

“As for shelf life and product quality we are finding that sea freight is working well, we can hold an extremely stable temperature in the container. You can get very good shelf life if you start with a good quality product, from the point of harvest until the customer gets it can be as much as 3 1/2 weeks.”

John said that production is down by around 60% and supply is a real challenge now as winter has started. It has been very cold in some of the southern states and the product is not in full swing yet and that coupled with good demand has made pricing quite challenging. 

“Despite the challenges we are still seeing good demand for good quality Australian product in Asia, so we are quite fortunate.”

For more information:
John Said 
Fresh Select 

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