China deal good for fruit and nuts

23rd October 2015

The Voice of Horticulture welcomes the announcement of Labor support for the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The Voice of Horticulture, representing 31 peak industry councils from across Australia, is excited by the bi-partisan support for the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The deal negotiated at a special meeting of shadow cabinet was given Labor caucus support on Wednesday morning.

Voice of Horticulture Chair and citrus grower, Tania Chapman has been enlisted as a champion of the “Open for Business” campaign.  Tania has joined the campaign to help promote the opportunities and benefits provided by the new markets, in its “Open for Business” campaign.

With Australian horticulture products in high demand throughout North Asia, producers are being urged to take advantage of the recently concluded Free Trade Export Agreements with Korea, Japan and China.

FTAs include provisions to improve market access, ensure non-discrimination, and guarantee protection and security for investments. These provisions provide certainty to boards and management when making decisions about investing overseas.

According to the Voice of Horticulture, China is the fastest and highest valued export market for many Australian horticulture producers.

Representatives from the Voice of Horticulture recently met with government representatives in Canberra to encourage the finalisation of Free Trade Agreement with China, including progress on the removal of non-trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas for all horticulture commodities.

Under ChAFTA, all tariffs on horticultural products will be progressively eliminated. Key outcomes include:

  • Elimination of the 10 to 25 per cent tariff on macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and all other nuts within 4 years.
  • Elimination of the 11 to 30 per cent tariff on oranges, mandarins, lemons and all other citrus fruits within 8 years.
  • Elimination of the 10 to 30 per cent tariff on all other fruit within 4 years.

 According to Ms. Chapman, also Chair of Citrus Australia, the Free Trade Agreement has been good for citrus “Last year, we achieved 18,500 tonnes. But with the Chinese Free Trade Agreement, we hope to see 40,000 tonnes exported by 2020. It's a very real possibility. The Chinese love Australian citrus; they can't get enough of our flavour or our quality. We can't put enough on the boat right now”

Ross Skinner ,CEO of the Almond Board of Australia, believes that “The China FTA will be very advantageous to the Australian industry as China is the second largest almond market in the world and the removal of tariffs will make a significant impact on returns from this market” Mr Skinner stated.

The Voice of Horticulture notes that there are still many horticulture industries that face market access issues in China and North Asia but the industry is excited that after many years of negotiation there is some real progress.

Earlier in the month Horticulture Innovation Australia and Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the main Chinese quarantine agency (CIQA) to build a long term relationship.

John Dollisson, a director of Voice of Horticulture and CEO of APAL reported that “The agreement will encourage the development of collaborative projects to benefit the joint interests of their members.” 

“Better relationships with the Chinese industry aims to help drive access for mainland apples into China” he said.

 

Media contacts

Tania Chapman
Chair, Voice of Horticulture
0428 291 717
chair@voiceofhorticulture.org.au

John Dollisson
Director, Voice of Horticulture
0413 111 123
director@voiceofhorticulture.org.au

Follow news about Voice of Horticulture on Twitter via #voiceofhort