AUSTRALIA'S horticulture industry will benefit from a new export arrangement deal with the Philippines.
Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig said the deal was the result of significant collaboration by federal and state agriculture departments as well as horticulture exporters.
“Australian horticulture exports to the Philippines have been low but these new arrangements make it easier to access the population of nearly 100 million people,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The new arrangements allow for cold treatment to occur in transit. The Philippines has also accepted new, more effective, cold treatment schedules which will ensure that product arrives at this important market in a much better condition.
“Improvements and flexibility agreed to by both countries will help reduce the cost of exporting product to the Philippines and facilitate increased fruit exports.”
The agreement has been welcomed by Australia’s peak horticulture bodies.
“This outcome is a significant boost for horticulture and our economy,” said Summerfruit Australia Limited’s John Moore.
“The Australian citrus industry is keen to take advantage of the new conditions and is looking forward to working with DAFF and other agencies to strengthen our position to trade internationally,” said Citrus Australia Limited’s Andrew Harty.
New arrangements have been supported by research and trials conducted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia.
“In March last year, with support from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and the Australian Table Grape Association, DAFF arranged for officers from the Philippines to follow a shipment of grapes from Sunraysia to Melbourne and then on to Manila,” Minister Ludwig said.
“A successful trial shipment cleared the path for DAFF to negotiate changes to the old protocol with the Philippines.”
The Philippines has also accepted Australia’s reforms to export certification, including the use of Authorised Officers to supervise cold treatments and conduct export inspections.