Agribusiness

Progress on fresh produce trade restrictions

cherries

Western Australian Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed moves to reinstate interstate trade of some fruit and vegetables affected by the detection of tomato potato psyllid in Western Australia.

Talks led by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food in Adelaide have resulted in an in-principle agreement to risk mitigation and treatment measures, which will work for many WA growers and offer the appropriate level of protection for other states.

Pome fruit and stone fruit will be able to resume trade as normal, provided they are free of any green plant or leaf material.

Measures such as washing, targeted inspection, or secure packaging will apply to a range of produce including strawberries and leafy vegetables packed in packhouses.

Work by the Western Australian Government continues as a priority to seek market access for potato growers, who are still unable to export into interstate markets.

“The interstate trade restrictions in the months since we found the psyllid in WA have hit our growers, and these proposed changes will save the State’s horticulture industry millions of dollars in potential lost interstate trade earnings,” said Western Australian Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

“We have gone in to bat for our growers to reach agreement with other states to get much of our trade back up and running.

“This in-principle agreement is a welcome step forward but there is more work to be done on potatoes, cut flowers, some lines of field-packed vegetables, and some nursery stock.

“We appreciate the willingness of the other states to find a way forward.

“We will continue working to ensure these proposed changes are put in place as quickly as possible and to negotiate on those products, especially potatoes, still affected by trade restrictions.”

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