Media Release

New market access for Australian table grapes

19 December 2013

Australia’s table grape producers will benefit from access to a new market following the finalisation of conditions for the export of grapes to Korea.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said agreeing import conditions for Australian table grapes with South Korean officials was a significant milestone for the $82 million a year industry.

“New market access for Australian table grapes, coupled with the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), is fantastic news for the industry,” Minister Joyce said.

“Other major fruit exporting nations such as New Zealand and South Africa are yet to finalise free trade agreements with Korea.

“Australia currently exports more than 60 per cent of our agricultural product and it is essential we are always looking for ways to expand our market opportunities and to increase the return to our producers,” Minister Joyce said.

“I am pleased we have been able to establish this new market within 100 days of being elected to government.

“These import conditions will allow Australia’s excellent produce to reach this valuable market and provide opportunities for our thriving horticulture industry and the producers and communities that rely on it to increase returns at the farmgate.

“Our trade policy aims to maximise trade benefits for all Australians. I look forward to seeing industry take advantage of this lucrative market,” Minister Joyce said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Table Grape Association Inc. (ATGA), Jeff Scott, said the successful negotiation and market access achievement was the result of close collaboration between the ATGA and the Minister’s department.

“We expect trade to occur later in this coming harvest season once arrangements for the implementation are completed,” Mr Scott said.

“This gain of market access is great news for the Australian table grape industry as access to the Korean market will help our industry to continue to grow.”

The ATGA expects trade over the next three to five years will be worth approximately $35 million.

South Korea formally announced the commencement of its risk assessment of Australian table grapes in August 2010.  The finalised plant quarantine import requirements for Australian table grapes came in to effect on 13 December 2013.