Australian vegetable industry praises government's investment in airfreight, Ausveg says - FreshFruitPortal.com

Australian vegetable industry praises government's investment in airfreight, Ausveg says

Australia's vegetable industry body Ausveg announced its support of the government's move to invest US$66.6m in assistance to airfreight measures.

Ausveg said it welcomes the announcement made earlier this week by deputy prime minister McCormack and other officials.

It added that it looks forward to working with the coordinator to "ensure that Australian vegetable growers can continue to export their produce", according to national manager Michael Coote.

The money invested in the International Freight Assistance Mechanism from the Australian federal government this week will allow the country's vegetable growers to meet export demand from key markets, Ausveg said.

As the industry has consistently talked of expanding its export range in recent years, Australia's vegetable exporter's capabilities are expected to be extended and supported through this new investment.

Having exported about US$139m in 2019, Ausveg's veggie network of growers and exporters saw a rise of 6.6% year-on-year. It points to this as a success in its efforts to reach more markets internationally and emphasized that it continues working to make sure that the industry has opportunities into the future.

Ausveg's optimistic outlook for Australian vegetables

Coote said that the announcement has already made an impact on the veggie industry's outlook and confidence for upcoming years.

By the end of 2020, the industry hopes to export US$191m. Despite the uncertainty of markets caused by Covid-19, Australia's veggie producers still have high hopes.

“Australian vegetables have a strong reputation for quality and reliability in key export markets, so it is critical that we are able to continue to export our fresh produce and that vegetable growers have a commercially-viable avenue to reach these markets," Coote explained.

Demand, he went on, remains strong for Australian fresh vegetables in global markets. Key importers continue to demand fresh produce. However, exports have been impacted by the pandemic recently as the number of commercial passenger flights has decreased.

As many exporters use these flights to export fresh, perishable products to Asian and the Middle East, Coote said this may pose challenges.

“More details about the specifics of this program, including the cost that will be passed on to exporters, will become clearer in the coming days, but this announcement is a positive sign that the Australian Government is eager to help exporting vegetable growers maintain their existing markets and supply high-quality Australian vegetables to key markets.”