Opinion

Growing hopes for expo

By Shepparton News

Who better to spruik the quality of a region’s fruit than those growing it?

It is so welcome that Greater Shepparton City Council has opened the opportunity for a local grower to join a council delegation to a premier fruit expo later in the year.

The likely five-person delegation will also have stops in China, including one with the council’s friendship city Jintan and the possibility of another in south-east Asia.

And while it seems strange that the council wouldn’t cover the accommodation or expenses of a member on its delegation, it is pleasing it sees value facilitating a direct interface between farmer and buyer.

It could equally be seen as welcome that assistance is being offered to help put a horticulturist front and centre on the trip.

There’s clearly mutual benefit.

Perhaps the most valuable element of a fruit grower’s presence is that it could serve to take a more direct route to any supply deal.

By ensuring a direct interface between buyer and seller, surely the chances of supply deals being signed is strengthened.

Council sustainable development director Geraldine Christou is confident such agreements can be reached. We hope so too.

Depending on the success of this year’s delegation and, in particular, the council’s participation in the Fruit Logistica Expo, the council could think about helping expand the fruit grower’s presence at the event.

According to the council, last year’s visit to the region was a success, with Ms Christou confident it was a hit and that deals had resulted from it.

If this is the case, full-blown participation in the expo should be ripe with opportunity.

Word is that last year’s visit was also instrumental in pushing ahead potential solar projects for the region.

If so, and an appetite exists, surely further efforts in this space could be entertained for future visits.

Furthermore, with three recently inked protocols for stonefruit taken care of, efforts will surely turn to the next fruits on the list, with the goal to further open the door for local export opportunities.