Floods open doors to more NZ produce
Eastern Australia’s sopping wet summer has set the scene for an ‘‘explosion’’ of imported New Zealand produce, according to growers on that side of the Tasman.
Great swathes of Queensland are under water and New South Wales and Victoria experienced a wet November-December.
‘‘Cheaper New Zealand labour costs and a low exchange rate already give increasing volumes of fruit and vegetables a price advantage in Australian supermarkets but the big wet is expected to lure in even more New Zealand produce to take advantage of local supply shortfalls,’’ an Australian rural news website, Farmonline, reported.
‘‘There’s no doubt Queensland’s floods and the pre-Christmas wet weather in NSW and Victoria will be a beachhead opportunity for New Zealand marketers to establish an even stronger footing here,’’ Avocados Australia chief executive Antony Allen said.
Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Kate Carnell said New Zealand had worked solidly to establish its reputation as a safe, fresh food garden for the Asia-Pacific. ‘‘I’d be amazed if they are not ramping up export plans to make sure they can help out where crop failures are causing interruptions to our supplies,’’ Ms Carnell said.