The AHEIA – a voice for Australian horticultural exporters and importers

There's never a dull moment for Australian horticultural exporters and importers. By its nature, the sector is at the frontline for all issues impacting the value chain pathway. Whether it be bushfires, drought, or complex supply chains overlayed by regulatory requirements, non-tariff barriers and escalating input costs, it is crucial for businesses to remain well-informed to best meet challenges and remain competitive in this dynamic environment.

The Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) works to support its members in meeting these challenges through disseminating up-to-date information on issues affecting supply chain pathways, delivering market intelligence, and by providing comprehensive advocacy and representation to enhance the trade of fresh horticultural produce both in and out of Australia. The AHEIA is the only organisation in Australia that provides this support to businesses.

Formed in 1987, the AHEIA was created as a ‘not for profit’ and non-governmental organisation to represent the interests of Australian horticultural exporters to both Government and industry to facilitate trade. In 2017, the Association extended its role to include importers of fresh horticultural produce. Now, the AHEIA represents, by value, approximately 65% of exporters and 75% of importers for over 40 horticultural commodities. As a truly cross-commodity peak industry representative body, the AHEIA seeks to identify issues that affect exports and imports and work on solutions to facilitate and maintain trade.

Through developing coordinated and collaborative approaches between industry and Government, the AHEIA works to resolve operational issues and improve the profitability of trade, with the goal of making exports and imports simple, transparent, and efficient. Exciting developments are anticipated in this area with the AHEIA working with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) in a series of ongoing face-to-face sessions aimed at identifying issues and co-designing export processes to meet both regulatory and commercial requirements for fresh produce exports.

With advocacy and representation of members at the core of AHEIA principles, an important function of the AHEIA requires building strong working relationships not only with members, and key industry representative bodies, to best facilitate united approaches for common issues impacting horticultural trade. This collaborative approach across industry recently resulted in eleven industry representative bodies uniting under one voice to oppose the proposed increases to export certification fees and levies. Further work is in the pipeline.

If you would like to be a part of the AHEIA, and experience the benefits and support the Association has to offer your business, please contact us at 

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