Australian Embassy
The Philippines

SP150414 Welcome Remarks by Ambassador Bill Tweddell at the 'Now in Season 2015' launch

Welcome Remarks by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
Launch of "Now in Season Australia 2015"
Harbor Garden Deck Area, Sofitel Manila
14 April 2015 

Welcome to the launch of “Now in Season Australia 2015”. This is a fresh produce retail promotion that will run from April through May in local supermarket chains in the Philippines, and also in our neighbouring countries Thailand and Malaysia.

The Australian Embassy is delighted to work with the Victorian Government, represented tonight by Ms Hang Do of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Infrastructure, as well as with various industry bodies from Australia – represented by John Moore, CEO of Summerfruit Australia, Jeffrey Scott of the Australian Table Grape Association, and Olivia Tait of Apple & Pear Australia Limited. We are happy to collaborate with them in introducing fresh produce that are “Quality, Safe and Healthy”.

• Quality – In Australia, we have a pristine growing environment for our produce and a clean environment ensures that only the freshest and best quality products are produced.

• Safe – Australia is world-renowned for the safety of its products, particularly as they are free from many diseases and pests. Our food production processes have high levels of regulatory supervision and strict quality standards. We have food safety management and traceability systems in place.

• Healthy – Stonefruits and grapes are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and a great source of dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium and phytonutrients. We recognise local demand for healthy snacking options and, as some of you have seen Chef Tim Hollands demonstrate earlier, there are many ways on how to consume stonefruits and grapes.

Summer stonefruits and table grapes are now in season, so you will be seeing a variety of grapes and stonefruits such as peaches, nectarines, pears and plums available in your favourite supermarkets and grocery stores. This will include, among others, S&R, Rustan’s, Robinson’s, Shopwise, and other key supermarkets.

I would like to acknowledge our dear friends from the retail groups here with us tonight. I would also like to acknowledge the importers, many of whom are here tonight, that play such a key role in getting this beautiful Australian produce to this market.

We are now enjoying increased availability of Australian fresh produce in the Philippines, thanks to the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which has made possible for most temperate fruits from Australia to enter the Philippines tariff-free (0%). This welcome development is also because of the improved cold treatment protocols, enabling faster access to Australian fruits and ensuring better quality once it reaches the Philippines. We would like to acknowledge the work of the Bureau of Plant Industry for working with us to put the cold treatment protocols in place.

Finally, warm thanks to you all for coming here tonight. Please feel free to enjoy our Quality, Safe and Healthy stonefruits and grapes tonight, and throughout the “Now in Season Australia” promotion.