Australian authorities approve Chilean hazelnut tree consignment

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Australian authorities approve Chilean hazelnut tree consignment

A Ferrero Group subsidiary has successfully imported more than 200,000 Chilean hazelnut trees for planting in Australia, after the new stock cleared quarantine on Nov. 27. hazelnut _ INIA

An Australian government release said the Department of Agriculture had worked closely with scientists from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, the Chilean quarantine service and importer Agri Australis to import the trees.

The consignments of Chilean hazelnut trees were placed in mandatory quarantine and screened for pests and diseases of biosecurity concern. The first consignment was released from quarantine at the end of last year.

Agri Australis general manager Alessandro Boccardo said working through the biosecurity requirements was important for developing a reliable Southern Hemisphere supply to ensure counter-seasonal availability of a high quality standard.

"The intention is to develop a large scale hazelnut demonstration farm near Narrandera in the Riverina– planting a million trees over 2000 hectares – that will demonstrate the sustainability and profitability of the hazelnut business to Australian farmers and potential investors," Boccardo said.

"By 2022 the modelling forecasts about 5000 tonnes of hazelnuts will be harvested from the demonstration farm – and we’re hoping local growers can match that volume in the medium term."

Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce said the importation came after several years of careful planning.

"This sort of collaboration, between government and the horticulture industry, is a model other sectors could draw on if looking to create new agricultural industries and products in Australia," Joyce said.

"This is a good example of a committed importer who was willing to work through our biosecurity requirements in order to establish a sustainable industry here.

"Their perseverance has created an opportunity for some of our farmers to diversify and grow this alternative crop, increasing their farm-gate returns and positively impacting their local communities."

Related story: Italy: Ferrero to source Australian hazelnuts

Photo: INIA


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