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AUS: Troeth Calls For Trans-Tasman Horticulture

2 September 1999

Troeth Calls For Trans-Tasman Horticulture Alliances

The horticulture industries in Australia and New Zealand would benefit greatly if they worked together in planning their research and development, marketing and other industry needs, Senator Judith Troeth, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said today.

Speaking at the opening the 14th annual Trans-Tasman Horticultural Conference in Canberra, Senator Troeth said that while she was not advocating an exclusive partnership between Australia and New Zealand, strategic alliances in R&D, and perhaps even in marketing, would bring benefits to both countries.

"I believe we can both learn from the different ways our two countries have used R&D and marketing to boost our export focus," she said.

"There are some marked similarities between our horticulture industries. Both have a wide climatic range, and both can provide Northern Hemisphere markets with 'out-of-season' produce.

"Australia and New Zealand are also both highly regarded suppliers of clean and healthy products. This is a powerful selling point and one that we must continue to protect.

"We must also ensure our products are competitively priced and that we are committed to establishing long-term relationships once we have secured a market opening.

"Horticulture is one of the fastest growing industries in the agriculture sector, but if it is to continue that growth it must leave behind its traditional 'grow and sell' philosophy and adopt an industry-wide marketing position based on quality and branding.

The Trans Tasman Horticultural Conference is consistent with the spirit of cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement.

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