Putting the cherry on top for exporters
19 December 2015
A consignment of Aussie cherries bound for Korea has become the first horticultural shipment to benefit from more flexible inspection arrangements, which will make exporting horticultural produce cheaper and more efficient whilst still maintaining Australia’s high biosecurity standards.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the consignment was inspected in Tasmania by an industry authorised officer and had successfully cleared Korean quarantine.
“Removing unnecessary red tape is a key focus of the Coalition Government, and it’s critical to achieving a fair return at the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.
“Cherry producers and exporters can now employ or have their own staff trained as authorised officers to undertake inspections for select protocol markets, without needing to book a departmental officer.
"This saves time and money—they don’t have to pay for a government officer to undertake the inspection. This provides them with greater flexibility so that they can send their products to market more quickly, which is absolutely crucial when you’re talking about fresh produce with a short shelf life.
“These particular cherries are being exported by an orchardist—reducing the input cost and increasing flexibility is a direct saving for the farmer.
“Cherry exports in Tasmania increased by 30 per cent in the 2014–15 season—thanks to improved market access to South Korea and other parts of Asia.
“In addition, the first of two tariff cuts under the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) enter into force on Sunday—under an agreement that will eliminate tariffs on most horticultural products over 4 years.
“Under the Government's Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, access to premium markets for horticulturists is being further boosted with $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally and $12.4 million to modernise Australia's food export traceability systems to further enhance our food safety credentials.”
For information on authorised officers, visit agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ao.