On The Land

28 February, 2023

Costa calls for more export market access

A BID to relaunch Queensland’s fruit and vegetable exports has reignited following reports one of the country’s largest avocado growers was considering selling its farms.

Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is calling for more export market acccess for growers
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is calling for more export market acccess for growers

Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said if a big company like Costa was cutting back on avocados, then inevitably, small farmers would go to the wall.

A recent media report stated that the company was looking at “trimming” some of its avocado farms, however late last week the company rejected that premise.

A Costa Group spokesperson said the company’s preference was to not have to divest from any of their farms and no decisions had yet been made despite recent media reports.

“Costa is also continuing to call for more to be done to open up export market access for Queensland grown avocados into Japan,” the spokesperson said.

“It remains frustrating that avocados can be exported from Western Australia to Japan, but not from Queensland or New South Wales, where more than 60 percent of Australia’s crop is grown.

“Opening up further access would provide a genuine opportunity to supply the Japan market almost year-round from Australia and provide certainty for the industry.”

To achieve this, the Costa Group has joined hands with Mr Katter as “he understands the importance of this issue to all avocado farmers, especially family run farms.”

Costa is looking forward to the Federal Agriculture and Trade Ministers working closely together with their respective Japanese counterparts to achieve important access to Japanese markets in 2023.

Mr Katter said the key to opening up the export market was to finish building a fumigation facility in Cairns.

“When I was the Minister for Northern Development (in State Parliament), we realised that we had to put a fumigation plant in Cairns, which is one of the centres of fruit and vegetable growing in Australia but the government went down before we got it in,” he said.

“Thirty years later, we still haven't got a fumigation plant and it is quite justified for another country to say 'If you want to send bananas, mangoes or whatever to us, then we don't want any of your diseases; we want it fumigated before it leaves Australia’.

“Build a fumigation plant in Cairns or your free trade agreements are worthless, it is desperately needed, build a fumigation plant now if you are fair dinkum about exporting fruit and vegetables from this country.”


Most Popular