Vegetable industry must outperform competitors, says AUSVEG

Wednesday, 08 May, 2019

Vegetable industry must outperform competitors, says AUSVEG

AUSVEG has suggested Australia’s vegetable and potato industry needs to increase its export market access in order to grow, listing ‘outperforming our competitors’ as one of the six key messages in its priorities for the federal election.

The peak industry body has asked government to place greater prioritisation of horticulture products in trade negotiations and to implement an industry/government committee which oversees whole-of-government regulatory cost increases.

Vegetable export volume rose more than 15% last year due to strong growth from Singapore, Japan and Thailand. Carrots were the strongest export performer at 113,000 tonnes, increasing in value by 5.1% to $98 million. However, AUSVEG National Manager, Export Development Michael Coote said there’s still room for exports to grow.

“Australia has built a strong reputation as a quality exporter of fresh produce but it must continue to gain access to more markets so our growers can continue to benefit.”

He said improving access to markets such as Japan and Korea, while increasing volumes to existing markets across Asia and the Middle East, would also pay dividends for Australian vegetable growers.

“New and emerging markets are essential to the survival of our domestic vegetable industry.

“Australia is in a competitive global environment and it must be able to provide quality fresh produce at an affordable price.

“So any potential cost increases which can flow back to the grower can severely impact their global competitiveness and profitability. That is why an industry/government-led committee to oversee any regulatory costs would be beneficial,” Coote said.

Other AUSVEG priorities include supporting our growers, protecting our product, respecting our borders, understanding our industry and transforming our business.

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