Home' Grower : August 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- August 2012
Unfulfilled potential in Asia
A VICTORIAN Department of Primary Industries study has
revealed that Australia can boast advantages over key
rivals Chile and South Africa in grape and citrus exports to
Asia. It found that Australia had not fulfilled its potential in
some Asian markets and could not afford to take its
market position for granted. The report compared
Australian, Chilean and South African table grape and
citrus exports and their relative competitiveness in Asian
markets. Australia was found to hold an advantage in fruit
quality, understanding Asian customers and responding to
supply changes. But Chile and South Africa held
advantages in price, supply volumes, continuity of supply,
and economies of scale. The 55-page report found that
while Asian imports of temperate fruits from the southern
hemisphere had almost doubled in the past decade to
about $2 billion, Australian exports to the region had
remained relatively static in both volume and value.
Food, wine and Costco
COSTCO is a relatively new entrant to the Australian retail
market with plans to expand nationally, including into
Adelaide. Food SA, South Australian Wine Industry
Association and Costco will host an information session
for the South Australian food and wine industry to hear
from Costco chief executive officer Patrick Noone about
the company and its plans for growth in the Australian
market. SA food and wine companies are invited to attend
this information session and bring their products and price
lists. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 16
between 2pm and 5pm at the Auditorium, Waite Campus,
Coles meet 'n' greet
SOUTH Australian food companies interested in selling
products to Coles Supermarkets are invited to attend and
bring products and price lists to the Coles Road Show on
Friday, August 17 at the Adelaide Showground. This is an
opportunity to meet with buyers and understand details
about how to do business with Coles.
Details: Mary Ferguson 0412 420 856 or
Quarantine site in Mickleham
THE site for the Federal Government's new post-entry
quarantine facility for managing high-risk plant and
animal imports will be in Mickleham, Victoria.
The Government has invested $379.9 million over seven
years for the construction and operation of this facility
which will consolidate existing animal and plant services
to a single integrated site.
A recent survey by the University of Adelaide has found
that roadside spraying is threatening national efforts to
curb herbicide resistance in weeds. The problem centres
around rural council's over-reliance on glyphosate in
sprays. Dr Chris Preston, University of Adelaide, said the
Australian Glyphosate Sustainability Working Group was
working with councils and State road authorities to ensure
they had a better understanding of chemical resistance in
weeds and integrated weed management programs.
By MALCOLM SUTTON
THE Federal Government has investi-
gated funding allocations for citrus
research and development.
Following through complaints from
stakeholders revealed that the Citrus
Industry Advisory Committee -- charged
with advising Horticulture Australia
Limited on industry and Federal
Government R&D-funded projects
nationwide -- is comprised almost entire-
ly by members of Citrus Australia
But South Australian Citrus Industry
Development Board chief executive offi-
cer Andrew Green says CAL represented
only about 10 per cent of SA growers.
"The issue here is how do we ensure
that the other 90pc of our growers have
input into the selection of R&D proj-
ects?" he said.
"70pc of the projects recommended for
funding in the last financial year by the
Citrus IAC were CAL projects.
"If someone submits a research project,
how can they ensure there's proper con-
testability if it's up against a project sub-
mitted by CAL?"
The 10 members of the advisory com-
mittee include five CAL directors, two
CAL employees, including chief execu-
tive officer Judith Damiani and one CAL
member, Michael Crook, who is the
A spokesperson for Agriculture Minister
Joe Ludwig said the complaint was relat-
ed to potential conflicts of interest in
"The investigation confirmed claims
that the majority of the citrus IAC mem-
bers are directors of CAL and that, based
on the advice of citrus IAC, HAL allocat-
ed significant amounts of R&D funding
in recent years to CAL," she said.
"The Minister recently wrote to those
members of the citr us industry who
made the initial claims, providing them
with the outcome of the investigation.
"HAL has confirmed it will implement
a number of actions to strengthen gover-
nance arrangements for citrus IAC."
Ms Damiani says CAL has been review-
ing the advisory committee for 18
months and will make independent
National advisory body investigated
Majority of members CAL directors
Accused of unfair R&D allocations
Industry needs global perspective
MEMBERS of the new South Australian
Regional Advisory Committee will be
selected this month.
Nominations closed mid-July and SARAC
selection committee chairman and
Speaker of the House of Representative
Neil Andrew says a list of candidates are
"The real motive of this change is the
fact that 94 per cent of fruit packed in
boxes or bags in SA is marketed out of the
State," Mr Andrew said.
"For the sake of the SA citrus industry,
we must have a national and international
Mr Andrew likened the establishment of
SARAC, which will replace the South
Australian Citrus Industry Development
Board and Citrus Growers of South
Australia, to the ongoing restructure of the
South Australian Farmers Federation that
has been underway this year.
"We have to consider what relationship
this group has with SAFF, in order to make
sure that SAFF is representing all
commodities," he said.
Mr Andrew says the new $1-a-tonne
grower levy will be a reduction of $2.85/t
for oranges and $1.85 for other citrus
fruits such as lemons and mandarins.
"Growers were reclaiming their levies to
make it difficult, if not impossible, for
CIDB to continue, and similarly, that was
the case with Citrus Growers of SA," he
"The new levy inevitably means the
services provided will have to come from
Citrus Australia Limited, or some kind of
SA Citrus Board chief executive officer
Andrew Green says the industry is likely to
suffer from a lack of funding when the
regional advisory committee takes over.
-- MALCOLM SUTTON
SA's citrus industry development board
CEO Andrew Green says Citrus Australia
projects unfairly made up 70 per cent of
those recommended for funding by the
industry advisory committee in the last
Citrus R&D funding dispute
appointments to the committee.
"I believe there is a HAL-appointed
selection panel, which will make those
final appointments in the next few
weeks," she said.
She says CAL's membership is hectare
based, and after just more than three
years of operation, represents 31pc of
hectares in Australia.
"In SA, we represent 35 Riverland
growers who represent 40pc of hectares,
which we estimate represents more than
50pc of production," Ms Damiani said.
"Obviously we are looking to grow that
figure along with the national figure."
SA Agriculture Minister Gail Gago said
she had been provided with details of the
investigation's outcomes and is satisfied
there was no impropriety by either HAL
She says the changes being made to
HAL will have minimal impact on the
State's R&D funding for citrus.
"I am advised HAL has confirmed it
will implement a number of actions to
strengthen governance arrangements for
the citrus IAC," Ms Gago said.
She says she is looking for ward to the
formation of the South Australian
Regional Advisory Committee after State
Parliament voted to wind-up SA Citrus
Board, along with Citrus Growers of
South Australia, on July 17.
"A future model for SA's citrus industry
will create one body with strong national
links and which will strongly advocate for
SA citrus growers," Ms Gago said.
But amendments were made to the new
legislation by the Liberal Party that will
mothball the board until January 2014 as
Mr Green said it would provide a mech-
anism to support the industry if SARAC
"And if following these investigations,
CAL isn't able to provide what it has
been promising and the SA citrus indus-
try ends up in a worse situation or a mess,
there's a prospect that CIDB will be res-
urrected," he said.
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