The Australian government has announced A$800,000 will be invested in training an additional 400 industry-based plant export authorised officers (AO) to support horticulture exporters.
The investment is expected to aid small businesses by cutting costs and saving money associated with paying for government AOs, making horticulture exports more efficient.
"Exporters can have their own staff trained as AOs, or employ third parties who will undertake inspections for select overseas markets with agreed protocols, without needing to pay for a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources AO,” minster of agriculture and water resources Barnaby Joyce said in a statement release 9 March.
"Using external AOs gives the industry greater flexibility in their inspection arrangements, and reduces costs associated with the inspections of their goods for export.”
Tasmanian cherry and apple exporter Hansen Orchards has been one of the first to take advantage of the new inspection arrangements, Joyce said, which saw the company save around 75 per cent in costs associated with inspections alone.
The project will increase the number of AOs by more than one-third and is part of the government’s Package Assisting Small Exporters.