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Forget the 'Made in China' sticker on blueberries

NEW MARKET: Costa Group is continuing to push for political support to enter Chinese trade market.
NEW MARKET: Costa Group is continuing to push for political support to enter Chinese trade market. Trevor Veale

COSTA Group, one of the Coffs Coast's largest employers, is continuing to push its bid of gaining trade access to China for the blueberry industry.

Projected demand for blueberries in China is anticipated to grow 20% a year, but Australian producers don't yet have access to this market, according to Costa Group.

General manager of the Costa Berry Category David Jordan said gaining access would provide long-term benefits for the region, increasing employment and boost tourism and retail industries.

Mr Jordan said there had been a limited level of support from the current Federal and State governments.

"We are receiving strong support from a range of State and Federal Labor MPs, but we still need to see some real action from the Federal and State governments to fast-track access for the industry,” Mr Jordan said.

Over the past two months, the berry group has met with Queensland Labor Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne and Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham.

This followed a visit to the Corindi farm by Anthony Roberts, the NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Housing, Paul Green from the Christian Democratic Party and Robert Brown from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, who also raised concerns about the lack of traction gaining market access into China.

Costa Corindi Berry Farm manager Christian Parsons, Costa general manager David Jordan and Federal Shadow Minister for Trade Jason Clare discuss blueberry exports to China.
Costa Corindi Berry Farm manager Christian Parsons, Costa general manager David Jordan and Federal Shadow Minister for Trade Jason Clare discuss blueberry exports to China. Keagan Elder

Shadow Minister for Trade Jason Clare visited the Costa Corindi farm earlier this month, urging the fast-track development of an export protocol.

"We ask Barnaby Joyce and Luke Hartsuyker to progress this issue as a matter of urgency and would welcome an opportunity to meet with them to discuss this further,” Mr Jordan said.

Topics:  blueberries china coffs coast corindi luke hartsuyker trade



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