Australian-grown fruit will be exported to Vietnam from the new biosecurity facilities, increasing speed while decreasing export freight costs.
Australian horticultural exporters now have access to two irradiation facilities in Melbourne since Vietnam has granted interim approval to receive produce from the treatment facilities, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud announced today.
Access to the biosecurity facilities will help Aussie growers reach the market faster with the possibility of fruit arriving in Vietnam just 72 hours after picking.
It will also reduce export freight costs for farmers in the southern growing regions.
“This will enable increased trade of table grapes and cherries and reduce transport costs for producers in southern Australia,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Vietnam already receives produce from the Brisbane treatment facility and Australian farmers have exported over 10,000 tonnes of premium fresh produce to Vietnam through the Brisbane facility since its approval in 2016.
“Approval to receive produce from Melbourne opens up more market access opportunities for growers in a key emerging market.
“It also supports our ambitions to grow bilateral trade in horticulture commodities.”
The Minister explained that irradiation was a preferred treatment due to its speed, capacity, and ability to retain product qualities. As such, Vietnam and Australia have “worked closely” to expand irradiation as a biosecurity measure for trading.
In Australia, irradiation is used to prevent the spread of pests like fruit fly and to protect the Australian honey bee population from pests and disease.
The news comes just a week after Minister Littleproud reiterated his department’s priority to keep biosecurity as a top priority in response to increased demand (and risks) at the border.