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.’’
The Mooroopna branch of Red Cross has celebrated 100 years of service to the local community.
The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
If you see smoke coming from Barmah this week, it's most likely planned burns which are taking place to reduce bushfire risk.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
Don’t write Ky off yet, says coach ahead of preliminary final
Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
Star Tocumwal defender took her club's A grade best and fairest award last weekend, adding to her 2014 PDNL medal.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
MP, District Govvernor among the honured guests welcoming in a half-century of service to community.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Seminars to discuss how constraints will affect the delivery of environmental water through the Murray-Darling Basin will be held in the Goulburn Valley this week.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
- Motorcycle ride raises money for cancer charity
- Leukaemia patients come together to support Light the Night Benalla
- Permit sought for a clay target shooting range at a disused quarry at Baddaginnie
- Acclaimed pastry chef returns to Benalla
- Benalla resident on journey to help others with mental illness
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.