Government to cover fruit and veg export fees
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today announced a $790,000 supply chain assistance payment for horticulture exporters.
The money will cover 40% of the fees paid by exporters between 1 July 2009 and 15 September 2009, before the introduction of the Export Certification Reform Package (ECRP).
“After consultation with the joint industry-Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) Horticulture Export Ministerial Taskforce, I have agreed to this one-off assistance payment because it provides justice for horticulture exporters who were faced with higher export costs during this period,” Mr Burke said.
“This is an effective measure to ensure equitable treatment for the horticulture industry, especially citrus exporters, and to ensure their commitment to reform under the Export Certification Reform Package announced by the Government in November 2009.”
Chief Executive of the Australian Horticulture Exporters’ Association and industry co-chair of the Horticulture Ministerial Taskforce, Maxwell Summers, said the supply chain assistance payment demonstrates the Government’s support for an important export industry sector.
“This payment enables horticulture exporters to make significant progress in meeting the requirements of the export reform strategy,” Mr Summers said.
Horticulture exporters will receive the payments before the end of the financial year.
“The ECRP reform agenda is the first major overhaul of Australia’s export certification system in more than 20 years,” Mr Burke said.
“It was needed to reinvigorate our export certification system, to cut red tape and to meet changed importing country requirements for a range of agriculture export industries.
“All sectors of those industries have expressed their support for ECRP, which will result in considerable cost savings through more efficient processes and improved productivity.”
Reforms will be in place by July 2011. Mr Burke said that each industry sector will be affected differently depending on its certification requirements, and importing country requirements will continue to be met to the highest standards.