Australian mangoes heat things up on Australia Day in South Korea
Even if the snow was falling and the temperature outside was far below zero, it didn’t take away from the Australia Day celebrations happening in Seoul, South Korea. Showcasing Australia was the Australian Embassy in Korea’s biennial celebration of Australia Day, showcasing Australia and its produce. It was held at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on the 29th January and attended by over 2,000 people, including Australia’s Ambassador to South Korea, William Paterson, key retailers, fresh produce importers, the media and dignitaries.
Horticulture Innovation Australia showcased Australian mangoes and cherries at the event to build awareness and increase demand for the categories. On the night guests were treated with delicious “taste of summer” including fresh mango samples, mango sorbet and a gift bag with an Australian mango and box of cherries to take home.
Australian Mango Industry Association Marketing Manager, Treena Welch, was at the event and said that Australian mangoes were a standout favourite and the response was overwhelming.
“The excitement and support that Australian mangoes received at the event is a sign of the strength of the market and demand for Australia’s favourite fruit. At this stage R2E2 is the only variety to be exported to Korea and consumers are really loving it. They’re captivated by the size, colour and beautiful blush, and they love the flavour. Koreans are no different from Australians - they’re looking for mangoes that are a consistent in quality and flavour,” she said.
Koreans have access to mangoes year round due to imports from the Philippines and Thailand, but Australian mangoes are completely different from these mangoes which are long and yellow.
There has been significant growth in mango export to South Korea over the past two years. This year, over 60 tonnes of mangoes were exported to South Korea, up from 25 tonnes the previous year, and three tonnes during the 2012 / 2013 season.
“South Korea has a large population, many of whom appreciate the high quality of Australian mangoes. It is in close proximity to Australia, making logistics more manageable. In addition, the recent Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement has strengthened ties between the two countries,” Ms Welch said.
Currently mangoes imported into South Korea need to be treated using Vapour Heat Treatment. AMIA is working towards doubling the export market over three years and improving protocols to current export markets like South Korea is a focus of this plan.
As well as promoting Australian mangoes and cherries, Showcasing Australia also promoted Australian beef and lamb, beer, wine and speciality foods including lamingtons and pavlova. The event included a fashion show, live performances and a photo exhibition.
“Thank you to Diamond Star for their generous contribution of excellent quality mangoes, to Trade and Investment Queensland the Queensland Government for their financial support. A special thanks to Joanne Pearce and her team of volunteers at the Australian Embassy in Korea whose tireless organisational efforts in the months, weeks and days leading up to the event ensured Australian mangoes were a stand out success." - Treena Welch.