The fruit industry is becoming weary of being told of huge opportunities in markets in Asia by Australian governments which cannot negotiate free trade agreements to get access.GEOFF ADAMS March 12, 2014 9:00am
The fruit industry is becoming weary of being told of huge opportunities in markets in Asia by Australian governments which cannot negotiate free trade agreements to get access.
Australian governments need to do a lot more to open up markets for Australian fruit exports, a cherry exporter and international fruit trader has told Country News.
NSW Cherry Growers Association president Andrew Gartrell said it took too long for Australian authorities to produce quarantine protocols to ship fruit to many Asian countries, and when they did, the outcomes were unworkable.
‘‘A lot of Australians are going to be very disappointed in ‘the new Asian century’,’’ Mr Gartrell said when asked about the latest Victorian Government plan to improve export opportunities in its ‘food to Asia action plan’.
‘‘We could end up with nothing.
‘‘Quarantine protocols are being developed which are never viable.’’
He quoted the case of the restrictions on Australian exports of cherries into the United States, which included a five-week chilling period which spoils the fruit.
He said the Federal Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry had been given good guidance by the cherry industry.
‘‘But they need to take notice of advice given by the growers.’’
He said cherry growers could not get access into South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, China and Thailand.
He said the department needed to work faster and more aggressively.
‘‘They’ve been working on China access for eight years,’’ Mr Gartrell said.
‘‘There needs to be more commerciality and urgency in taking the industry position forward.’’
Mr Gartrell said indications were that the new Federal Government was more aware of the issues.
New Zealand secured a free trade agreement with China in 2008.
The Victorian Government’s Food to Asia plan includes stronger action to break down trade barriers.
‘‘The Victorian Government will support actions at both state and national levels that will reduce the tariff and technical barriers currently hindering Victorian food exports to key Asian markets,’’ the plan says.
Fruit Growers Victoria general manager John Wilson said there was a lot of work to be done in securing overseas markets.
‘‘Chile and New Zealand are a hell of lot better off than we are,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘‘They are far better negotiators than we are.’’
One barrier to faster trade deals was the reluctance of some foreign governments to move any faster, he said.
Warrnambool Cheese and Butter’s sales and and marketing manager John Williams told the ABARES conference last week: ‘‘The majority of Asia cannot afford our products and we cannot afford to feed them.’’
A man has been arrested after the alleged sexual assault of a girl in Seymour in May.
Paradise Queen owner Travis Smith is preparing to take on hundreds of runners at this year’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival to be held on October 18-19.
As part of its continuing international development, Bega Cheese Limited signed a supply and distribution agreement on Friday, September 19, with one of China’s leading retail groups, Chongqing General Trading Group, to supply them with Bega branded UHT milk produced in Australia for distribution in China.
Murray Goldfields District
Darren Pain from Sportspower is encouraging people to support small businesses on Saturday.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Rail line manager sends out warning after trespassers get too close to tracks to take photos.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote cheerleader Taylah Kurrle is part of the Cheer Factor All Stars team for the Duel in the Desert championship in Palm Springs, California.
International cricket superstar Adam Gilchrist becomes number-one ticket holder and junior program ambassador for local club.
Deni Ute Muster thank myriad of volunteers.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Tears flowed freely from players and supporters on Sunday when Benalla lost the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final by three points.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.