Citrus growers in Queensland, inland New South Wales and Western Australia are a step closer to exporting Australian citrus to the US.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced in mid-August it will revise the requirements for the importation of fresh citrus from Australia.
The announcement was made following successful negotiations from the Australian government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE).
Until now, citrus could only be exported to the US from NSW’s Riverina, SA’s Riverland and the Sunraysia region of Victoria/NSW.
Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said the decision was welcome news for citrus growers.
“Growers are looking to diversify their export markets as new plantings enter full production, so this is welcome news,” said Hancock.
“The US has historically been a very strong market for exports from our south east regions and we feel that there are some good opportunities for fruit from other regions.”
Hancock cautioned that while the decision was announced on the Federal Register on 18 August, commencement of trade is contingent upon agreement between governments on an operational work plan. Currently, the work plan is still a live conversation.
“Our technical market access request with APHIS has had a long history, well over a decade, and there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make this happen,” added Hancock.
“I would like to commend the technical officers and trade negotiators from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment who have worked tirelessly through the negotiations for more than a decade.”