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 former priest and teacher at St Colman's in Shepparton has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student in 1970.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Echuca Lion Ken Walter has been presented with the International President’s Medal.
Rochester Tigers take on Rochester United today in the Goulburn Murray Cricket Twenty20 match.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
Two primary school students have been among just 25 in Victoria to be awarded the Prime Ministers NAIDOC Medal.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
Pre-schools in Heathcote and Colbinabbin will benefit from grants announced last week.
Moira Shire Council says 36 cents of every dollar spent on staff costs is 'not an unusual number'.
Works on Edward River Beach to Beach Walk to be completed.
Further redundancies at Victoria’s largest rural water corporation, Goulburn-Murray Water, are possible, with more efficiency reviews being carried out.
Rotary's inaugural Community Policing Award goes to Detective Leading Senior Constable Jenny Parker for her work above and beyond her duties working with victims of sexual abuse.
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.