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