Canned food company, SPC, has asked the government to step in and help save its Goulburn Valley growers by imposing an emergency tax on imported tin fruit.
The company told growers at meetings earlier this month that their produce would not be accepted from 1 May, with the high exchange rate and a decline in export markets causing SPC to dramatically reduce its fruit intake.
According to weeklytimesnow, the federal government has received an urgent request from SPC, asking for special protection measures, which could include an emergency tax on imports, allowed under World Trade Organisation rules.
The rules allow a government to intervene when a rise in imports threatens a domestic industry.
Goulburn Valley fruit growers yesterday attended the first of two mass meetings to discuss their future prospects, with funds from SPC ceasing this Wednesday.
Many growers are expected to apply for a farm finance assistance package, announced by federal Agriculture minister, Joe Ludwig on the weekend.