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Quality at core of new apple markets

Damien O’CONNOR
Spokesperson for Agriculture

9 August 2011
MEDIA STATEMENT

Quality at core of new apple markets

Labour is backing changes to legislation in a bid to make the most of new marketing opportunities in Australia, the party’s Agriculture spokesman Damien O’Connor.

“There needs to be a coordinated and strategic approach to selling New Zealand apples across the Tasman. An all-out assault on Australian growers will only damage the industry. We need to develop an effective marketing system, where customers know they are getting choice and quality, to ensure the benefits of selling into Australia are long-term.”

He said Labour had agreed to support an amendment to the Horticulture Export Authority Act introducing quality and quantity guidelines for exporters.

“Australia is the only new market to open up for apple exports for many years and it is very important that the industry does not waste the opportunity through low quality and low value selling,” Damien O’Connor said.

“We produce the best apples in the world but an all-out assault on Australian markets could result in undercutting and lower returns to growers who desperately need this market as a lifeline to survive.

“There is widespread backing from the industry for this move and Labour is happy to support these changes, which will still need to be endorsed by the clear majority of growers through their own vote,” Damien O’Connor said.

ENDS

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