Agreement has been reached between the Department of Agriculture and Food and vegetablesWA to boost capacity in developing export markets for Western Australian horticultural crops.
The department’s Executive Director of Irrigated Agriculture and Diversification Terry Hill said appointing a new marketing specialist would help ensure that the Western Australian industry became more export-ready and aware of existing and future export opportunities.
“Over the years, segments of the vegetable industry have been very successful in exporting to our neighbours in South East Asia, the Middle East and other places,” Mr Hill said.
“Currently carrots are the stand-out export performer where we provide more than 90 per cent of Australian exports by value. Seed potatoes also have significant potential where our top quality produce is helping overseas industries to become more self-sufficient.”
However, profitability can alter rapidly due to currency changes in the Australian dollar, new players entering established markets, biosecurity issues and other factors, Mr Hill added.
“Assisting individual growers and companies to face such challenges and develop long-term relationships could reap significant dividends for the whole industry,” he said.
Horticulture WA Executive Officer Jim Turley said he was delighted that the State Government was putting more financial support into the horticulture industries over the next three years.
“Not all growers are interested in exporting, but any expansion of the total market has flow-on effects and benefits for the whole industry,” he said.
The successful applicant for the new position will be based at the vegetablesWA offices in West Perth, but will work across all members of Horticulture WA, which includes fruit, wine, bees, strawberries and table grapes. The officer will also work closely with the department’s trade specialists and analysts.
Strategic direction will be provided by a steering committee comprising representatives of Horticulture WA and the Department of Agriculture and Food.
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Media contact: Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937