Australia won’t relax standards to allow Filipino banana imports
The Australian government will maintain banana import standards to protect its growers in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, dampening hopes in the Philippines of taking advantage and entering the market, Australian media reported.
Banana growers sought assurance from the government that the fruit would not be imported to offset price spikes likely to follow the destruction of 75% of the nation’s banana crops, media group ABC reported.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said that all import standards and trials would remain, meaning that Filipino imports would likely be years in the offing, according to ABC.
Members of the Philippines’ banana industry were attempting to negotiate a way to allow their fruit into Australia faster, The Australian newspaper reported.
Bananas from the Philippines “will definitely benefit not only the Filipino exporters but also the Australian consumers,” Stephen Antig, executive director of the Filipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, was quoted as saying.
Australian lifted a ban on Filipino bananas in 2009, but standards for entry have kept growers from applying to enter the market, the newspaper said.