Australia to phase out citrus regulation

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Australia to phase out citrus regulation

Australian Agricultural Minister Joe Ludwig has announced citrus export efficiency powers will be phased out, changing the current system where only DNE World Fruit Sales can receive U.S.-bound shipments.

The powers will remain in place for two more years, applying only for citrus to the U.S. and China, but the single importer arrangement will be replaced by a Horticulture Australia Limited ‘Citrus to USA’ committee on Feb .1, 2013.

Citrus Australia chief executive officer Judith Damiani said the decision came after more than 20 years of United States trade using a single importer, and two years of rigorous industry debate and independent reviews.

"This is a good outcome for the Australian citrus industry after what has been a very challenging consultation period for Citrus Australia, on top of changing market conditions and upheaval of state citrus regulations in South Australia and New South Wales," she said.

"Industry support for restrictive importer arrangements in the US has dwindled particularly during the last half of 2012, reflecting industry maturity/capability, and increasing costs, competition and a continuing high dollar in the US market."

Damiani said the phased approach would help industry adjust and protect grower returns.

"This transition arrangement will allow industry and government sufficient time to review export performance in both a mature (USA) and emerging (China) market, and finally decide the future of export regulations."

The executive also paid tribute to the effort’s of Australia’s long-term citrus importer and marketer in the U.S.

"On behalf of the Australian industry we would like to honour the exceptional service of Greg Nelson and the DNE team."

"We are sure that service will continue for many of our exporters and growers and we look forward to DNE’s continued efforts in promoting Aussie citrus around the world."

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