Industry body Potatoes New Zealand has withdrawn its request for market access into Australia for New Zealand-grown fresh potatoes.
Potatoes NZ announced the decision in its March newsletter, stating that is was an economic decision to withdraw its application for market access, and that it would “enable resources to be utilised in other market access areas”.
The news has been welcomes by Australian potato growers and industry body Ausveg, who have expressed biosecurity and disease concerns over tomato-potato psyllid, which causes Zebra chip disease.
“We are extremely relieved that the New Zealand potato industry has withdrawn its application to export fresh potatoes into Australia,” said Ausveg CEO Richard Mulcahy in a statement released 24 March.
“The threat of the Tomato-potato psyllid entering Australian potato farms is highly significant, as the pest is not yet present in Australia and it often carries the bacterium that causes Zebra chip disease, which can significantly reduce the yield and health of potato crops and render potatoes unsaleable.”