Taiwan to push pineapples into Australia
Consumers are being warned of inferior tropical fruit that’s due to arrive for the first time from Taiwan. Growcom, the peak industry body representing the Australian fruit, vegetable and nut industry, has voiced concerns about reports that six tonnes of fresh pineapple are to be imported into Australia from Taiwan in May.
“Australian consumers expect the highest standards of their fresh fruit and veg; that they’re delivered fresh to the grocery aisle or foodservice sector, and are grown under safe, sustainable conditions,” says Richard Shannon, Growcom Manager of Policy and Advocacy.
“Until now, consumers could be extremely confident their fresh, whole pineapples were clean and green, because they’re all grown here in Australia. Choosing Australian-grown pineapples isn’t just about buying a superior product; it’s also about supporting our farmers and keeping jobs in regional Australia.”
Industry also has raised concerns about reports the planned import of pineapples into Australia is coming as a result of Taiwan recently losing access to China, its largest market.
“We understand it would be heartbreaking for Taiwanese growers to now have nowhere to send their fruit,” Shannon says. “Disruptions to trade caused by COVID-19 and changes in position taken by China continues to also hurt many Australian agriculture exporters.
“But this shouldn’t make Australia a market of last resort. We expect the government to keep an eye on whether this trade is fair and legal under World Trade Organisation rules.”
Industry is also again flagging concerns raised during the recent import risk review concluded by the Australian government around whether biosecurity risks that come with importing fresh pineapples from Taiwan can be adequately managed.
“The risk review and the measures put in place are fine in theory,” Shannon says. “However, growers keep seeing pests and diseases enter Australia for which risk mitigation measures are already in place. We want more inspections of fresh produce arriving in Australia, not just pineapples from Taiwan but across the board.
“We are calling on the Australian government to urgently review its position on a biosecurity levy on containerised cargo coming into the country. It makes perfect sense. Those creating risks to the natural environment and agriculture should be pulling their weight.”
To find out more about Australian pineapples, including varieties, how they’re grown and recipe ideas, head to australianpineapples.com.au