Following the announcement of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement yesterday, Ausveg says that more needs to be done if the Australian vegetable industry is to continue to thrive.
Ausveg, the peak industry body for horticultural industry, says that export markets to Asia and the Middle East must be expanded, and that continued investment in research and development is key.
“The FTA with China is an important step for the Australian vegetable industry in its development as a powerhouse of international horticultural production,” said Ausveg CEO Richard Mulcahy.
“Many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including China, have booming middle-class populations wanting to import produce. They are attracted to Australia’s fantastic reputation, and know our growers use the safest production methods to grow the best quality produce in the world.”
Mulcahy says that the industry must continue to invest heavily into R&D to increase production quality and transport capabilities as well as decrease costs and help growers break into export markets.
“Consumers want the best quality vegetables available and are willing to pay a premium price for Australian-grown vegetables,” he said.
• 7.5 to 30 per cent tariff on orange juice removed within 7 years, and tariffs of up to 30 per cent on other fruit juices removed within 4 years,
• 15 per cent tariff on natural honey, and the up to 25 per cent tariff on honey-related products removed within 5 years,
• 15 per cent tariff on pasta removed within 4 years,
• 8 to 10 per cent tariff on chocolate removed within 4 years,
• 15 to 25 per cent tariff on canned tomatoes, peaches, pears and apricots removed within 4 years,
• 15 to 20 per cent tariff on biscuits and cakes removed within 4 years, and
• 20 per cent tariff on soft drinks removed within 4 years.