If excess potatoes end up in gardens, this foster potential pests and diseases

Tasmania: ‘Import approval for South Australian potatoes poses export threat'

Within the potato industry, concerns are growing about the impact the licence approval to import South Australian potatoes will have on export markets. Biosecurity Tasmania approved a conditional licence to SA producer group Mitolo Group to allow it to import potatoes into Tasmania for human consumption. Producers, the TFGA and an export group, remain concerned there is no control over the end product, despite their use as a food.

Stakeholders are concerned excess potatoes will end up in gardens, which could allow potential pests and diseases to flourish.

Opposition Primary Industries spokesman Shane Broad revealed the details of the conditional approval during parliamentary Question Time.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association on Tuesday wrote to Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett over the decision. The letter, obtained by The Examiner , states the TFGA and producers understand the need for free trade, but still hold considerable concern over the import licence approval.

The letter also states concern over the impact of potato spindle tuber viroid. "We note that Biosecurity [Tasmania] also sees PSTvD as an unresolved issue," the letter reads.

Tasmanian Export Facilitation Group facilitator Ian Locke said the import approval raised concerns about the viability of export markets open to the state. He said the group wanted to ensure there were no impediments to finding and creating export opportunities for its clients.


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