ASEAN NOW - Ironbark Citrus


My name is Susan Jenkin. I’m the CEO and owner of Ironbark Citrus, and that’s a business that’s been set up by my husband, Alan, and myself.

Ironbark Citrus is a mandarin producing enterprise and basically we grow the mandarins on our three farms, we pack them in our packing shed and we export them out of our cool rooms here on the farm.

When we set up the business we actually set it up with export in mind and we planted varieties that are suitable for export, that actually you don’t see in the supermarkets here in Australia.

In ASEAN currently, Thailand is our number one market, which takes quite a significant volume of fruit from us.

A lot of the growth that we’re going to see for us in markets is going to be in the ASEAN region. It’s a massive increase in the middle class. The middle class are the people that are going to be buying our fruit because it’s an expensive product.

We’ve set up a business in Laos called Ironbark Laos where we’re working with the local farmers to try and grow citrus to the standards that we’re growing citrus here in Australia.

The idea there is that we’d like to help the Laos farmers, we’d like to give people opportunities because the Laos season is counter-seasonal to our business. So then we can basically supply the same customers as we’re supplying now but for a longer period.

Free trade agreements are important for our business. I think anything that makes trade easier between countries is always a good thing to us. Anything that makes that trade flow more easily and simpler and cheaper can only be good for our business.

I think ASEAN will become a more significant part of our business in the future. It’s already a significant part of our business and that’s only going to increase.

In terms of expansion, I suppose as our younger farms come into full production where we’ll have more fruit and we’ll be sending more fruit to ASEAN countries.