Australian nectarine growers feel "privileged" that their fruits will be exported to China as the benefits from the historic China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) continue to trickle into local businesses.
Summerfruit WA director Brett DelSimone said it was an "unexpected delight" that China decided to import fresh, sweet nectarines from Australia, but recognized the importance of maintaining stringent quality control to ensure the program's success.
He said growers were now concentrating on producing "high quality" fruit to export to China, with the first shipment expected in January 2017.
"It gives our growers a lot of confidence going forward in terms of stability and expansion," DelSimone told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.
"Access into this market is not a right, it's a privilege and it's important we honor the goodwill that has been developed from this deal."
Nectarine farmer David Giumelli from Western Australia said the deal follows "years" of "talking, hearing and hoping" that such a deal would come about.
"To finally hear that we do have access into China is very, very good news," Giumelli told the ABC.
"It's pretty early days but we will be able to grow more fruit, employ more people and contribute growth to the local economies of the small towns."
Meanwhile DelSimone said he hoped the nectarine deal would pave the way for other summer fruits to be exported to the lucrative Chinese market.
"Hopefully this will open up access for other summer fruit commodities down the track," he said.