AUSVEG, the National Peak Industry body representing Australia’s vegetable and potato growers has welcomed the announcement made last night of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which has been struck between Australia and Japan. The agreement will have positive implications for the Australian horticulture industry, with a range of fruit and vegetable commodities flagged for tariff elimination.
“Australian horticulture the potential for significant trade growth in Japan, so to see reduced tariffs for products like carrots, asparagus and cabbage will mean that it will be easier for Australian growers to get these products onto the shelves of Japanese supermarkets,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson Hugh Gurney.
“This agreement will further assist the Australian vegetable industry to establish trade in Asia, with market access for a greater range of vegetables the next priority for industry in order to take advantage of lower tariffs,” said Mr Gurney.
AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
Once brought into effect, the FTA will see the elimination of the current three per cent tariff on products like carrot, asparagus and cabbage.
In 2012-13, $51,126,066 AUD of asparagus was exported from Australia to Japan.
“When you’re talking about over $50 million dollars, a three per cent reduction in costs for accessing Japanese consumers equates to a significant amount of money that an Australian asparagus grower can choose to reinvest into their business.”
Other horticultural products will also see benefits from the deal, with canned tomatoes and vegetable juice both identified to have their current tariffs phased out over a five year period.
“AUSVEG enjoys a close working relationship with Austrade and it is hoped that now the FTA has been announced, more and more Australian vegetable growers will explore the Japanese market,” said Mr Gurney.
On 22 June this year, AUSVEG is hosting an Exporting to Japan Symposium in Cairns, which will aim to teach Australian vegetable growers how to negotiate export deals with Japanese customers.
“Trade with Asian markets will be essential if the Australian vegetable industry is going to expand profitably, so the announcement of this FTA is welcome and represents a great opportunity for our local growers, who grow some of the best produce in the world,” said Mr Gurney.
The FTA still requires approval from the parliaments of both countries before these conditions can take effect.
8 April 2014