Joyce and Westra van Holthe visit NT mango farm
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce
Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe
21 November 2014
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe, will be heading to a mango farm near Katherine, Northern Territory, today to speak to mango growers about new trade opportunities and to unveil the Strategic Export Plan for the Australian Mango Industry.
“I’m looking forward to visiting Piñata Farms’ most remote Honey Gold orchard, known for its diverse climate and delicious mangoes, and seeing the operations first-hand,” Minister Joyce said.
“The Australian mango industry is booming. In 2012-13, Australian mango growers produced fruit valued at more than $93 million.
“We’ve come a long way since the 1800s when the first mango plant found its way to Australia from its home country of India.
“But we’re always looking to expand and bring home better returns to the farm gate. That’s why I’m proud to be today unveiling the Strategic Export Plan for the Australian Mango Industry to expand our trade to more international markets and to grow the markets we do have.
“Last financial year we exported 212 tonnes of mangoes to Korea, Japan and China, with tariff reductions taking effect under recently agreed trade deals, these important markets are more appealing.
“Australian mango growers produced more than 40,000 tonnes of fruit in 2012-13 and exported 4,842 tonnes of that to mango lovers all over the world.”
Minister Westra van Holthe said that further developing the international mango trade was important for realising the industry’s potential.
“Developing foreign markets is a major focus for this Government and it is pleasing to see the industry has a target of doubling exports over the next three years. I applaud the industry for taking the lead and planning for their future,” Mr Westra van Holthe said.
“So far this season the Territory has produced an estimated at 2.82 million trays of mangoes which is about 19,700 tonnes. This includes 2 million trays from Darwin and 800,000 trays from the Katherine and Mataranka area. It is anticipated another 800,000 trays will be picked in the Territory this season, over the next three weeks.
“By opening up trade to new foreign markets the Territory hopes to increase these figures.”
The Department of Agriculture is working closely with the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) to prepare growers and packers for registration to export to the USA.
“I look forward to working closely with the mango industry to focus on their market access ambitions by incorporating a strong evidence-based approach to identify market access opportunities so we can direct our efforts to the most profitable markets,” Minister Joyce said.
“This government promised greater market access for our agricultural producers and we’ve made a good start – but our work isn’t over.
“Now we have to make sure industry is ready to capitalise on current and future market opportunities.”