Home' Grower : October 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- October 2012
No economic sense
in access protocols
WHERE is market access
going in Australia? Seems to
me it is going backwards,
Here is a list of imports approved
by DAFF Biosecurity:
• Apples from New Zealand --
where they have fire blight
• Potatoes from New Zealand --
where they have zebra chip disease
• Ginger from Fiji
• De-crowned pineapples from
• Fresh mangosteen fruit from
Indonesia -- where they have
species of spider mites, mealybugs
and ants of concern
DAFF Biosecurity's response to
industry concerns at Import Risk
Analyses has been nothing short of
bullish. It would appear that it is
the only expert because any input
by industry or eminent scientists is
dismissed in an off-handed manner.
A number of these import
processes have been subject to
appeal but the reality is that the
appeal process is heavily sanitised
by the government process.
Appeals can be made only on spe-
cific issues and the negative long-
term effect of these imports on
local industry is not something that
one can seek to appeal.
We now have three Senate
Inquires looking at the decisions of
DAFF Biosecurity on ginger,
pineapples and potatoes. While
these industries welcome the
reviews, the process does little to
change the decisions of DAFF
Exports of many horticultural
products are becoming increasingly
being a barrier to exports but in
reality, it is poor market access pro-
tocols negotiated by DAFF
It appears that we give into the
unrealistic demands of overseas
countries, leaving our producers
and exporters with unworkable
Indications are that some are
refusing to accept Pest Free Areas
within some protocols. This is hard
to understand given that there is an
International Sanitary and
Phytosanitary Agreement relating
to Pest Free Areas and Areas of
Low Pest prevalence.
If countries are not accepting
pest-free areas, why aren't we tak-
ing this issue to the World Trade
Organisation? Is the Australian
Government too scared to utilise
the WTO to ensure our trading
partners play by the rules?
Countries such as the United
States and New Zealand are not
scared to take Australia to the
Industry continues to highlight
that most of the protocols negoti-
ated are not commercially viable,
yet our negotiators continue to
accept them. The result is that very
little product covered by specific
protocols is exported to the rele-
vant countr y or countries.
In some cases, if the product is
not exported the protocol can be
withdrawn, leaving growers with
limited options or none at all.
With the changing focus on the
management and control of fruit-
fly, particularly in Victoria and New
South Wales, it will become even
more difficult to establish appropri-
ate and workable protocols.
The result of all of this is that
Australia will become a net
importer of horticultural produce.
If the Senate wants to make a real
mark on market access, it is time
they implement a full review on the
Australian Market Access process.
At this point, those managing
Australia's Market Access are fail-
ing the country's horticulture
industr y in the name of 'free trade'.
There is no such thing as free trade.
The industry can compete with
'fair trade' but we are not seeing
that with the import and export
processes now in place.
In my perspective, Australian
market access programs get an F.
Industry continues to highlight that most of the protocols
negotiated are not commercially viable, yet our negotiators
continue to accept them.
My Perspective by
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