For many of Australia’s melon growers, the past two years have been more than chaotic. After struggling to export due to border restrictions caused by Covid-19, resulting in a 40 per cent decrease in exports in the 20/21 financial year, things began to pick up towards the end of 2021.
Freight opportunities increased and some exporters were able to distribute twice the amount of fresh watermelons, rock melons and other specialty melons to international locations compared to same period in 2020. But in early December, a record-breaking deluge damaged many crops across Queensland.
Luckily, and despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic and weather, melon exporters have been able to utilize Austrade’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) which has helped keep global supply chains open. IFAM is a temporary, targeted, emergency support measure put in place by the Australian government to keep global air links open in response to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.