Chinese investment opens the door to considerable opportunity

The Produce Marketing Association Australia New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), representing the produce and floral supply chain in Australia and New Zealand, have heralded the deal that will see Hong Kong based Chevalier Group purchase a 70% stake in Moraitis as important for the industry providing closer commercial ties with China and a sign of confidence in the importance of the fresh produce sector in Australia. 

Following the announcement, Michael Worthington, CEO of PMA A-NZ believes that there will be no short term “opening of the taps” export to China but longer term supply opportunities considerably strengthened by this deal.

Moraitis is an important operation within the fresh produce sector representing approximately 5% of the $9 billion industry.

“With Moraitis already 50% owned by foreign interests, I don’t see any significant changes as a result of this new deal. However, it’s important to understand how Moraitis operates to clarify the negative connotation that Australian farmland is being lost as part of this announcement. In fact, it sources much of its product from contracted growers who continue to own their own land,” commented Worthington.

“This won’t change but will instead expose a huge potential market in China to Australian grown and owned fresh produce moving forward.”

With heightened interest in China recently as a result of the Prime Ministerial visit announcing the importance of closer ties with the economic powerhouse, PMA-ANZ sees the deal as being good for the industry to have such strong commercial interests with China.

“For decades farmland has been owned by foreign interests; with investment from Britain, America and Japan; now as the global economy axis shifts to China, it is not surprising that they are also investing. What is positive is that global companies see the long term value that the fresh produce industry in this country can provide,” continued Worthington.

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