The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed support to ensure Australia’s world class seafood, dairy and red meat products continue to be enjoyed in key Asian markets.
“Australian farmers export 75 per cent of what they produce,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“Access to key markets is essential to the continued success of our industry and importantly to the livelihoods of farmers, farm workers and the thousands of employees along the food supply chain,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the cost to export goods from Australia has risen dramatically with cargo space and quarantine requirements tightened.
Today’s announcement of the $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism will assist exporters to meet these costs and to return some degree of normality to export schedules.
“We welcome the initial focus on the markets of China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE, and the four key departure sites of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth,” Ms Simson said.
The seafood industry was one of the first sectors to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, with decrease in demand from China, forecast to wipe more than $300,000 million of the industry bottom line this year.
“The world-class red meat and dairy products produced by Australian are staples for many consumers across Asia.
“Given the perishable nature of these products, it was vital, that alternate air freight options be created in the face of decreased passenger flights.”
Ms Simson said NFF and its members had been working collaboratively with the Government for some weeks on ways to secure the continuity of Australia’s food exports and the farmers and workers that depend on it.
“Today’s announcement is pragmatic and effective and we thank Deputy Prime Minister McCormack, Minister Littleproud, Minister Birmingham and Assistant Minister Duniam for their support.”
GM, Media & Communications
0408 448 250