Coffs region farmers are set to receive greater access to overseas markets thanks to the Coalition Government’s $51.3 million package to grow exports.
The Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the funding would create six new agricultural counsellor positions in key markets including Europe, the UK, Latin America and Asia and extend five others.
“The blueberry industry is thriving in this region, with huge potential to grow even further backed by practical government initiatives that will boost exports and farmgate profits,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Agricultural counsellors support farmers by building strong relationships with key trading partners and providing vital market intelligence to work through trade barriers to get our hard working farmers top price for their produce.
“A great example is how our counsellors helped obtain access for blueberries to India and we saw the first exports in 2017 opening up new opportunities for the expanding industry.
“The Coalition Government is working towards access for blueberries from the mainland to Japan and has identified access to China as a future priority, which will require the support of our counsellors in China.”
The Budget continues measures which give farmers a fair go and build drought resilience which include doubling farm management deposits to $800,000, 100 per cent write offs on water storage and fences and write offs over three years for fodder storage.
Farmers and small businesses will continue to have access to the $20,000 instant asset write-offs for a further 12 months to enable them to replace or upgrade things like the old work ute.
· In the agriculture portfolio since 1 January 2016, we have had 72 key market access gains or restorations, along with 63 key market access improvements or actions to maintain market access.
· Australia exports more fresh berries than it imports.
· Australia exported 4,244 tonnes of fresh berries worth $41 million for the year ending June 2017.
· 356 tonnes of blueberries were exported in the year ending June 2017 to the value of $8.5 million.
· The funding will also extend five agricultural counsellor positions in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Middle East, China and Thailand.