Japanese come calling for our ginger
GINGER grown by a Sunshine Coast producer has been exported to Japan in a shipment which could pave the way for more in the future.
A container of seven tonnes of ginger from Templeton Ginger was sent to Japan earlier this month.
Kylie Templeton, who travelled to Tokyo to meet the delivery, said the shipment had been sought by the buyers as seed ginger for farming.
Ms Templeton said the purchasers had sought good-quality, disease-free stock and the shipment had gone smoothly.
Each piece of ginger was checked to make sure it was up to scratch before being packed in boxes in a temperature-controlled container for the two-week journey to Japan.
"I was so happy to see it arrive in good condition after it had been through such a long journey,” Mrs Templeton said.
"It was a couple of weeks later and the quality of it was about the same as when it went.”
Ms Templeton and her brother Shane, third-generation farmers, began considering export after a surplus in the Australian market during the past two years.
The Templetons grow ginger at Eumundi, Gympie and Maryborough and are regarded as Australia's largest ginger producers.
Ms Templeton said the family business had re-established a Japanese connection going back 20 years.
"We used to export to Japan 20 years ago. They were part of a group that we used to send to before.”
Ms Templeton said the Japanese visited the family's operation before placing the order when their usual seed ginger suppliers fell short.
She said there were no guarantees that the shipments would be on-going but doors remained open.
"They contacted us in October to say, 'Can you send a container of ginger?',” she said.
"We had everything available and used what we had in boxes and we had the quality of ginger they required - it was all about timing. We really just have to wait and see.”
State Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said he hoped ginger would join a list of other Queensland-grown products that were popular with Japanese buyers.