​​Media release

Thai deal fast tracks Australian fruit trade

7 September 2018

  • Australia and Thailand announce a new irradiation pathway for horticultural exports
  • Queensland persimmons gain improved market access to Thailand
  • Deal will help open doors for other fruit and vegetable growers trading with Thailand

Persimmon growers across Queensland will have better market access to Thailand thanks to a trade agreement finalised this week.

The agreement delivers a new irradiation plan for fresh produce to Thailand, which is newer and faster but also a safe and chemical free way to manage biosecurity.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said prior to this our persimmons could only be exported to Thailand under cold treatment.

“This agreement will help open doors for the Queensland persimmon farmers and deliver speed to market,” Minister Littleproud said.

“To irradiate the fruit it goes into a giant chamber by conveyer belt and the fruit is sterilised, killing bacteria and pests, in this case the pesky fruit fly.

“With this deal done and dusted we can get on to tackling other commodities and get them on this same pathway. This will help get our quality produce onto Thailand supermarket shelves faster.

“I’m committed to improving market access for our farmers. Deals like this will help Aussie food production grow towards the NFF’s target of a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030.

“Agricultural trade between the two countries is currently worth $2 billion dollars and now this market will get stronger.

“Thailand is a prominent Asian leader and by working together to open this trade pathway we’re hopeful other Asian countries will follow the example.

“Queensland farmers will also benefit from the recent signing of the Indonesia-Australia comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement will reduce tariffs on exports of livestock, beef and sheep meat, grains, sugar, citrus and horticulture produce.

“The Coalition Government has also delivered Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea. 

“Farmers can look forward to better access to markets with a combined GDP of $13.7 trillion under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP-11).”

As part of the agreement, mangos from Thailand will also be eligible for export under the new irradiation pathway. 

Fast Facts:

  • Australian horticulture is worth more than $10.5 billion, with the value of production forecast to reach $12 billion in real terms in 2022–23.
  • Australia’s main horticultural exports to Thailand are citrus, grapes, nuts and strawberries.
  • For the year ending June 2017, Australia produced 2,516 tonnes of persimmons, valued at $10.5 million.
  • Persimmons are produced primarily in south east Queensland.