Citrus Australia supports moves for united grower body in southern state
Citrus Australia has announced its support of a united representative body for growers in the state of South Australia.
Citrus Australia chair Tania Chapman applauded moves from South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Gail Gago to form the new association.
"The Minister’s transition group now needs to work quickly to create a united structure to speak with one voice. The sooner this is done, the faster we can pool our resources to address urgent export market access, promotion, biosecurity and industry information issues," said Chapman.
"Citrus Australia has just released a new national draft R&D plan that details how these issues can be addressed more efficiently with an increase in the national levy.
"If we remove inefficient state statutory levies and unnecessary regulations, and pool the investment in national programs to counter the continued loss of market share in our export and domestic markets, then we have a chance to develop a more competitive, sustainable and profitable industry.
She said the industry urgently needed to "reduce duplication, inefficiencies and unnecessary costs" in the representative structure, highlighting that hte South Australian decision came at a "critical time".
Chapman pointed to South Africa as a prime example of the benefits of a more united grower body.
"South Africa is one of our biggest competitors in the global citrus market, with lower cost and greater economies of scale," she said.
"If three separate Southern African countries covering a greater variety of growing conditions and vested interests can come together under one national organisation and deliver valuable services to its growers efficiently and with accountability, then why can’t we do it for Australia."
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