Riverland fruit growers are set to cash in on exports following China’s agreement to a range of protocols enabling greater market access, including recognition of the region’s fruit fly free status.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said local growers exporting citrus, stone fruit, cherries and table grapes from the Riverland pest-free area (PFA) to China will no longer incur fruit fly treatment costs.
“This is a wonderful outcome for Riverland growers seeking access to Australia’s largest export market,” Minister Ruston said. “While other premium markets such as Japan have long recognised the Riverland’s PFA status, until today China had not.
“This is a significant game changer for Riverland exporters to China, removing the need for expensive fruit fly treatments that came directly off growers’ bottom lines.
“It’s the result of long negotiations conducted by the Australian Government, in close consultation with industry, and considerable goodwill on the part of China.”
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said Riverland growers and exporters should be commended for their efforts in achieving recognition of the region’s PFA status.
“Riverland growers not only produce some of the best fruit in the world but also set global benchmarks in their efforts to keep the region free of fruit fly and horticultural pests,” Mr Pasin said.
“Combined with the benefits of ongoing tariff reductions under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and increasing Chinese demand for safe, clean and green Australian horticultural products, this agreement provides Riverland growers with tremendous opportunities to increase exports and farm gate returns.
“This is great news for the Riverland’s economy and something I’ve been lobbying for since entering Parliament in 2013. This agreement demonstrates how the Government’s trade policies are benefitting rural and regional Australia.”