Exports up for Buderim Ginger

BUDERIM Ginger is on track to increase its exports this year as management, the board and shareholders hold their breath for a more positive year than last.

A call went out a few weeks ago from Buderim Ginger's Fijian subsidiary Frespac for more growers in that country to come forward as it eyes plans to export more than 1000 tonnes this year.

Some 250 farmers signed contracts in 2010 and operations manager Satish Kumar told the Fiji Times even more were wanted this year and all contracted farmers would have a guaranteed market for their crop.

Chief executive Ron O'Grady said while the local crop was looking good at this point, the company was going to have to source from places like Fiji to meet demand.

"Last year we had problems with delivery in Australia and we were short on supply so we went to Fiji," he said.

"So far so good with local growers this year, and there are quite good crops in the ground.

"(The disease) Pythium doesn't look as bad, and we are looking for increased tonnage out of Australia. But we won't know exactly until harvest at the end of February."

He said while the company's fortunes were still dependant on the weather, the early signs were good for this year.

"The weather situation is a little better, so that is positive, and we've got the markets," he said.

"It is still on supermarket shelves in Australia and the demand side is fine.

"But there's always trouble on one side of the equation, and the difficulty at the moment is keeping supply up to those markets, both internationally and locally."

Mr Kumar said Frespac was willing to buy unwashed ginger from Fijian farmers at 90c per kilo ($900 per tonne) an increase on the 2010 price, which was $850 per tonne.

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