China's set to buy our blueberries
AUSTRALIA and China have agreed to new horticulture market access priorities that will allow future exports of Bundy blueberries into the Asian nation.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the agreement would deliver future export opportunities into China for the region's emerging blueberry industry.
"The inclusion of blueberries on the new priority list has a huge market potential for Central Queensland farmers, which will mean more jobs for more local people,” Mr O'Dowd said.
"I recently accompanied assistant minister Luke Hartsuyker for a visit to Mundubbera's Smart Berries Blueberry farm, hosted by farm manager Stewart Mackenzie, with the topic of local blueberries having the opportunity to export into China at the very top of the agenda.”
Mr Hartsuyker, the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "Access to the Chinese market in the future will be a massive driver of growth for the agricultural sector.”
Technical market access negotiations can be scientifically complex and take time, as each country looks to safeguard its national biosecurity interests and food safety standards.
Mr Hartsuyker said the new agreement had come about after a sustained period of engagement with China by the Australian Government and promotion of the blueberry industry.
He said during a trip to China in November last year, he 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,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Today I've spoken to industry leaders who have welcomed the announcement,” he said.
”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 with the Australian blueberry industry to guide and inform its work in preparing for market access submissions to China.