Mango export boost tipped for North
NORTH Queensland mango growers are welcoming proposed increased access to foreign markets under a new project aiming to boost Australian exports into China.
The project, a collaboration between the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia, University of Queensland and the State Government, will be identifying barriers for mango exports into China.
Bowen Gumlu Growers Association president Carl Walker said new markets would help keep the Australian mango industry viable into the future.
“It’s become bloody tough in farming and we need all the help we can get to succeed,” he said. “All the big players have got to remember we should support Australia first and importing overseas products that are cheaper is undermining our industry.
“I don’t believe the consumer is that concerned about a few extra cents to keep Australians in work. Farmers across the nation are struggling to make ends meet.
“Our costs have gone up, up, up, and the price we’re getting is going down, down, down.”
Mr Walker said the Australian market was a small one in comparison with neighbouring nations with hundreds of millions of people.
“In some months our market is over supplied and we need to chase those new ones,” he said.
“I don’t think China is the be all or end all, we also need to pursue smaller markets with our Asian neighbours such as Japan, which would be just as beneficial in the long-term as well.
“We shouldn’t neglect other Asian countries closer to us.”
Mr Walker said Federal Governments needed to take into account the effects free trade agreements could have on Australian growers.
“There are 25 million people in Australia and we grow enough food for 40-60 million, so even a small intake can create an oversupply,” he said.
The $2.24 million research project, which is expected to be completed by mid-2021, will use tools in supply chain management to resolve any issues for getting mangoes into China. Participants in the research will work with existing customers in China to test the efficacy of new chain management and quality monitoring strategies while an Australian body based in Brisbane will monitor required biosecurity protocols.
EXPORT PUSH; Bowen Gumlu Growers Association president Carl Walker.