New trade deal with India ‘welcome news’ for the South West avocado industry

Melissa PedeltyManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Lower South West producers welcome the news of an expanding export market for avocados.
Camera IconLower South West producers welcome the news of an expanding export market for avocados. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

A leading voice for Lower South West producers welcome the news of an expanding export market for avocados after the Australian Government recently announced a new trade deal with India.

Southern Forests Food Council vice-chair Monica Radomiljac said access to another international market was always welcome news for the industry.

“There has been a lot of work to ratify the trade agreement to benefit both parties, this is just the start of the journey,” she said.

“India is a huge population in relatively close in proximity to Western Australia.

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“The work now needs to be put in to foster long-term trade relationships between businesses in each country, I’m sure producers in the Southern Forests are looking forward to selling their premium quality avocados into a new market.”

The trade deal was underpinned by a $3 million investment into research to support the export of the fruit delivered through Hort Innovation using industry levies and funds from the Australian Government that determined the health and safety of Australian Hass avocados is in line with India’s import requirements.

Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield said in-market consumer insights gathering, inbound trade missions and strategic planning through a targeted export strategy have also been a focus for the industry.

“Getting to the point the Australian Government has with India today is no small feat,” he said.

“As well as significant work by the Government, this trade agreement, which is enacted after 10 successful shipments, has been informed by hundreds of hours of research.

“That includes developing novel phytosanitary measures for the fruit, which involve rigorously applying treatments to our avocados to prove they are pest and disease free with no impact on quality.”

Mr Fifield said the phytosanitary risk science Hort Innovation delivers with agencies, such as the CSIRO, contributes to international research in this field.

“As an isolated continent, Australia has a reputation for taking the risks of spreading pests and pathogens that harm crops and natural environments seriously,” he said.

“That is why our produce is considered premium-quality and is highly sought after all over the world.”

Avocados Australia chief executive officer John Tyas said he considers Australia’s market access to India to be a “game changer” for the Australian avocado industry.

“With the industry now capable of producing a strong supply of Hass avocados, having access to an overseas market such as India will be a game changer for our industry,” he said.

“We believe there are great opportunities for Australian avocados in India and it is a market with enormous growth potential.

“Access to this large and growing market will bring renewed optimism for many Australian avocado growers.”

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