NZ apple growers feel China’s pain

For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand Staff


NZ apple growers feel China’s pain

New Zealand’s pipfruit industry chief believes Chinese apple exporters will continue to face Australian resistance

NZ apple growers feel China’s pain

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Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Peter Beaven believes Chinese apple growers will face just as difficult a time as New Zealand growers have in trying to gain approval for exports to Australia.

Biosecurity Australia last month released its final Import Risk Analysis (IRA) on Chinese apples, and Australian growers said they were worried the body had not adequately assessed the risks associated with the importation.

"During the China IRA process, the Australian apple and pear industry has on many occasions communicated its concerns regarding the pest and disease risks of the different regions in China," Apple and Pear Australia (APAL) biosecurity spokesperson John Corboy said.

"Clearly our concerns have been disregarded in this final risk analysis."

After decades of struggle, New Zealand apples were cleared for access to Australia two years ago, but the conditions were so tough that New Zealand complained to the World Trade Organisation.

New Zealand said the conditions were an unacceptable barrier to trade and a report from the WTO disputes tribunal is due to be released by the middle of this year.

Mr Beaven believes it is still early days in the process for Australia to approve Chinese apples, and there may be many more hurdles to overcome.

Last month APAL chairman Darral Ashton said his organisation would seek a meeting with the Australian minister for agriculture before deciding how best to proceed.

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