Maintaining and expanding our export market access is crucial for the ongoing growth of Australia’s vegetable and potato export industry, according to peak industry body AUSVEG.
Vegetable export volume has risen more than 15 per cent last year due to strong growth from Singapore, Japan and Thailand, with carrots being the strongest export performer at 113,000 tonnes and increasing in value by 5.1 per cent to $98 million in export value.
But AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development Michael Coote said there is still plenty of room for vegetable and potato exports to grow.
“With improved prioritisation of Australian vegetable products in trade negotiations, our industry can continue to reach new heights,” Mr Coote said. “Australia has built a strong reputation as a quality exporter of fresh produce but it must continue to gain access to more markets so our growers can continue to benefit.”
Mr Coote said improving access for vegetables to markets such as Japan and Korea, while increasing volumes to existing markets across Asia and the Middle East would also pay dividends for vegetable growers around the country.
“New and emerging markets are essential to the survival of our domestic vegetable industry,” he said.
Supply chain costs continue to increase following government policy changes, such as through the recent implementation of security screening requirements for all international air-freight cargo. AUSVEG has asked government to place greater prioritisation of horticulture products in trade negotiations and to also implement an industry/government committee which oversees whole-of-government regulatory cost increases.
“Australia is in a competitive global environment and it must be able to provide quality fresh produce at an affordable price,” Mr Coote said.
“So any potential cost increases which can flow back to the grower can severely impact their global competitiveness and profitability. That is why an industry/government-led committee to oversee any regulatory costs would be beneficial.”
AUSVEG’s 2019 Federal Election priorities can be viewed at: https://ausveg.com.au/sprout-growing-a-better-future/