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Export breakthrough for Australian tomatoes

Export breakthrough for Australian tomatoes

Australia has achieved a significant export market expansion with New Zealand’s agreement to the importation of all varieties of Australian tomatoes.

Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said he was very pleased with this long-awaited export market access achievement.

“This is good news for the Australian tomato industry, which currently exports five varieties of tomatoes worth more than $5 million a year to New Zealand,” Mr Truss said.

The successful consultations between Biosecurity Australia, the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and their New Zealand counterparts, mean that exports of all varieties of Australian tomatoes will be allowed into New Zealand, providing they meet prescribed conditions.

“The decision by New Zealand opens up markets for Australian tomatoes that are grown all year round, particularly from Queensland,” Mr Truss said./p> “I commend the efforts of Biosecurity Australia and the tomato industry, particularly the Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, in securing these new export opportunities.”

Australia has exported five varieties of tomatoes to New Zealand since 1990, but other varieties were not allowed because of concerns about fruit fly.

After several years of consultations and research conducted by the Queensland Horticulture Institute, Australia’s quarantine authorities and the tomato industry presented a systems approach to manage the threat of fruit fly.

The systems approach includes registration of producers in Australia, a field control program, post-harvest disinfestation treatment, quarantine secure packaging, and sampling and inspection before export.

“By creating the potential for more exports, this process has enabled the Australian industry to improve and expand its prospects,” Mr Truss said.

“Many growers and exporters are in the position to take advantage immediately of this decision by New Zealand. This is a great example of the benefit to agriculture when government and industry work together on biosecurity issues,” Mr Truss said.

23 July 2002


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