Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed news the Federal Government will extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) until December 2020.
“On behalf of our members and the entire Australian seafood industry, SIA would like to thank the Federal Government for extending the IFAM until the end of the year,” SIA Interim CEO Veronica Papacosta said. “The $240 million extension will allow Australia’s wild-catch fishers and aquaculturists to deliver an estimated $3 billion worth of produce to key international markets including China, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
“The IFAM extension will provide market certainty to our exporters who rely on air freight, and will help protect jobs in the wild-caught and aquaculture sectors, and countless more positions downstream in postharvest, freight and beyond.
“Since the IFAM was first announced in March, more than $500 million worth of seafood products have been exported. Keeping industry connected to our international markets only secures the future of businesses and jobs, but cements our reputation as a reliable trading partner.
Typically Australian seafood exports are carried in the cargo hold of commercial aircraft, but with few international passenger flights under COVID-19 restrictions the majority of outbound flights were cancelled which saw our transport routes disappear.
Restoring these supply chains has been important to industry maintaining relationships with customers around the world, so we can continue to deliver our high-quality Australian
seafood to every corner of the globe long after IFAM ends and COVID-19 has passed.
“The IFAM has provided an export-lifeline to industry nationwide during the COVID-19
pandemic, without it our industry would not be where we are today,” said Papacosta.
“The Coalition has provided unwavering support for industry throughout the COVID-19
economic crisis, and we thank them for helping to keep Australian businesses and jobs
afloat, and Australian seafood on the table.
“We’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of Seafood Trade Advisory Group’s Nathan
Maxwell and Jayne Gallagher, Tassal, and all members of the Australian seafood industry
who have worked tirelessly with the government to help secure this support extension.”