Green light for blueberry exports to China
AUSTRALIA and China have agreed to new horticulture market access priorities that will allow future exports of local blueberries to China.
The inclusion of blueberries on the priority list will progress after the existing access priority of mainland apples.
Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said the agreement would deliver future export opportunities into China for blueberry growers on the Mid North Coast.
"The inclusion of blueberries on the new priority list has a huge market potential for Mid North Coast farmers, which will mean more jobs for more local people," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Access to the Chinese market will be a massive driver of growth for the Mid North Coast agriculture sector - which supplies 75% of Australian blueberries."
Technical market access negotiations are scientifically complex and do take time, as each country looks to safeguard its national biosecurity interests and food safety standards.
Mr Hartsuyker said the new two and two priorities agreement had come about after a sustained period of engagement with China by the Australian Government and promotion of the blueberry industry.
"I have been supporting the industry over a long period of time to position itself for market access into China," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"During my trip to China in November last year, I had the opportunity to raise Australian blueberry exports with Chinese industry representatives.
"We currently export blueberries to almost 20 countries and the new agreement provides a significant opportunity for the Australian industry to access another valuable market.
"Today I've spoken to industry leaders who have welcomed the announcement. Making use into the future of new export markets into China will help support the ongoing productivity and profitability of the Australian blueberry industry."
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will work closely with the Australian blueberry industry to guide and inform its work in preparing for market access submissions to China.