"We just need to know", says Citrus Australia
Citrus Australia has urged the federal government to speed up its decision in response to a review of export efficiency powers, with growers still waiting to see whether they will continue with the single desk marketer system next year.
The association's CEO Judith Damiani told www.freshfruitportal.com the industry was anxious to know whether exports to the U.S. would continue to go through marketer DNE World Fruit Sales or if other players would be brought into the bargain.
"All indications are that there is a chance it will be made by the end of the month, but there's no guarantee," she said.
"The final report from the department has to go to the federal agriculture minister and the minister has to consider it and make the call, so it depends on that timeframe.
"The timing is getting critical. The industry needs to know what the outcome is so that everyone can plan with some certainty for next season."
She says the government is also negotiating the deregulation of the wheat industry, and the reaction to that decision would likely affect the fate of citrus growers too.
"Ours is coming in at the tail end of that. It just depends on how the government lands on that one and what the feeling is for making those sorts of decisions at the moment.
"Because the citrus industry is so divided on the issue, I’ve spoken to people with both points of view, and they all agree they just need to know as soon as possible, because it’s going to make it quite difficult to plan commercial arrangements. It’s getting very late."
Related story: Aussie citrus industry divided over U.S. export deregulation