Minister Opens Fruit Growers Tasmania Conference

Minister Opens Fruit Growers Tasmania Conference

Tasmania Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff

New Markets For Tasmanian Fruit

Victor P Taffa

Tasmania’s fruit industry is a great example of why our produce is sought after across the globe; our fruit growers are resilient, innovative and world-class, Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff said.

“Today I had the great privilege of officially opening the Fruit Growers Tasmania Conference in Hobart, with the theme of Maintaining Our Export Markets.”

“Tasmania’s fruit industry is worth more than $118 Million at the farm gate and employs thousands of Tasmanians.” Mr. Rockliff said.

Despite recent challenges including floods, bushfires and drought the industry continues to flourish and attract new investment.

New doorways into markets with a huge appetite for our safe and premium produce  have also created greater opportunity, such as the Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea, signed by the Federal Coalition Government.

The cherry industry is leading the way with Tasmanian cherry exports to all destinations valued at around $50 Million in 2015-16, or almost double the value of exports in 2014-15.

Berry production increased, with the area planted in 2013-14 increasing by 56 % on the previous year, and apples are in demand due to the rapidly expanding cider industry.

“Growing the fruit industry is a key part of our AgriVision 2050 plan, and that’s why we have provided $140,000 to Fruit Growers Tasmania over two years to help develop new markets, particularly in Asia.” Mr. Rockliff said.

“We are also developing a new overarching strategy to future-proof our industry against fruit fly, the Maintaining Tasmania’s Freedom from Fruit Fly strategy to be developed by the end of 2016.”

“This will build on our already comprehensive system of import protocols, surveillance and biosecurity frontline, to continue to protect our fruit fly free status that’s critical for access to overseas markets.”

“We understand that Tasmania’s relative freedom from pests and diseases is one of our greatest competitive advantages.” Mr. Rockliff said.

“We are ensuring that our biosecurity system is as rigorous as it can be so the sector can continue to grow, with an additional $2 Million in this year’s Budget doubling our frontline detector dog teams, in addition to $4.9 Million for biosecurity in our first two budgets.” Mr. Rockliff said.