Aussie fruit off to Thailand
22 April 2014
Australia's cherry and summerfruit industries have regained access to the lucrative Thai market following the release of new import conditions that mitigate the risk of fruit fly entering Thailand.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the resumption of the trade, which represents good news for Australian growers, with many looking forward to realising the full benefits next season.
"After a three year wait, we can now start exporting Australian cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums to Thailand," Minister Joyce said.
"There is a record of strong trade relationships and high consumption of quality Australian produce in this market. In the 2010–11 season, Thailand was Australia's third largest cherry export market, worth $1.9 million, and I’m confident history will be repeated."
Under the new import protocols, cherries and summerfruit need to be sourced from Australian pest free areas, or undergo cold treatment before arriving in Thailand.
"The Coalition's commitment to realising international trade opportunities and furthering market access, particularly for counter-seasonal exports, is delivering real benefit to Australian growers at the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.
"The cherry industry has moved quickly to take advantage of the recommencement in trade, with eight tonnes of cherries expected to be exported before the end of the current season."
Summerfruit has a longer season, giving growers more time to get their product into the Thai market before the current season ends, with the first shipments since 2011 now having arrived in Thailand.
Cherry Growers Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mr Simon Boughey, commended Thailand's decision to reopen the market, saying it was a boost to the long-term export opportunities of the cherry and summerfruit industries.
"As seasonal industries, any opportunity to grow our consumer base is important. We're in a strong position to supply and take advantage of overseas markets such as Thailand," Mr Boughey said.