AUSVEG has supported findings released by the Anti-Dumping Commission that 56% of all imported processed tomatoes from Italy have been dumped on Australian shores.
“The findings of extensive illegal dumping from foreign countries comes of no surprise to those within the vegetable industry, and AUSVEG fully appreciates the initiative undertaken by the Anti-Dumping Commission to uncover these dubious practices where they occur,” said AUSVEG Public Affairs Manager, William Churchill.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
The finding, released yesterday in the Anti-Dumping Commission’s Statement of Essential Facts, found that prepared or preserved tomatoes exported from Italy were exported at dumped prices, causing material injury to the industry.
“AUSVEG also welcomes the Commission’s recommendation to the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry that a dumping duty notice be applied to all exports of prepared or preserved tomatoes from Italy,” said Mr Churchill.
As a result of the inquiry, two exporters will have a dumping duty applied at over 26%, while other exporters will have duties applied at 5%.
“This outcome has been possible through the establishment of the Anti-Dumping Commission. Through this resource, industry now has an efficient and effective centralised tool to investigate and pursue dumping claims,” said Mr Churchill.
“As the nation’s agricultural sector continues to shift towards a focus on free markets and international trade, it has become particularly important that Australian vegetable growers and local processors are provided with an equal playing field.
“With one of Australia’s most iconic food processors SPC Ardmona reviewing its options after the Federal Government declined to co-invest in its upgrade proposal, it is possible for the collected duties from Italian tomato imports be used to invest in SPC. Similar precedents exist in the United States where import duties are spent in the affected industry.
“There are alternative options that the government could consider without compromising its views on taxpayer handouts,” said Mr Churchill.
Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures have shown that imports from several European nations, including Italy, have increased by 289% or $45 million in value, since 2007-08.
6 February 2014