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AU: Reviews could bring avocado imports from South America a step closer

Avocados Australia says it is little surprised that Chile wants access to the Australian market, after the domestic industry has more than doubled demand for the fruit in the past 12 years.

In March, the Australian Government started a review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocados from the South American country, who have been pushing for market access since 2006.

CEO John Tyas added if avocados from Chile are given access, they will also have to be up to the standard our consumers now expect, a challenge in itself given the logistics of sea freight. It comes as negotiations started this year into a Free Trade Agreement with Peru.

"Free Trade Agreements are now a standard part of doing international business," Mr Tyas said. "While such agreements will always benefit some industries more than others, it’s important the Australian Government continues to ensure international access to horticultural markets. In fact, the Australian avocado industry has been very proactive in working toward accessing international markets in future years as production and plantings continue to increase and will eventually exceed domestic demand."


Photo courtesy: Avocados Australia

Hort Innovation and the avocado industry are running a separate review into impact of avocado imports from Peru and Chile on the domestic industry. A similar study was completed last year in relation to Mexico and is an example of our strategic approach to industry management.

Mr Tyas says understanding the potential impact of a new supplier to the domestic market will ensure that the Australian industry can undertake the necessary industry planning and management activities required to ensure that productivity, profitability and global competitiveness is maintained.

"The Australian market has been very strong for a number of years now, with very attractive prices," he said. "However, the Australian industry is in a rapid growth phase with a third of all plantings yet to mature and new plantings going in every year. Due to our range of climates we can supply avocados all year round, with January/February being our lightest supply period. As the supply increases, prices are expected to ease and the margins may be less attractive for importers. Time will tell."

A key concern for the domestic industry will be biosecurity, and Avocados Australia stresses that there are still quarantine requirements that will have to be met before any fresh produce can enter Australia and that is a science-based process.

"Domestically, the Australian avocado industry has been working for many years now to lift the quality of our fruit," Mr Tyas said. "Australian growers have helped to fund research and development work to improve fruit quality right through the supply chain and that work is continuing. We want consumers to have a good avocado experience every time they make a purchase. Managing fruit quality from such distant suppliers is obviously more challenging."

A draft report of biosecurity import requirements is due to be published by the end of 2018.

For more information on the review visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/risk-analysis/plant/avocado-from-chile/announcement-information-paper


For more information:
John Tyas
Avocados Australia
Phone: +61 7 3846 6566
admin@avocado.org.au
www.avocado.org.au

Publication date: 5/9/2018
Author: Matthew Russell
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


 


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