Australia’s Department of Agriculture (DoA) has confirmed that Vietnam has ‘raised concerns with Australia’s fruit fly management systems and is considering suspending trade in Australian fruit’.
The export market is worth about $40 million, including grapes and cherries. Alan Bramble, general manager of Caernarvon Cherry Co at Orange, says it may not affect this year’s cherry exports, but it is bad news.
Cherry Growers Australia says that the Vietnamese export market is significant, and the ban will affect this season’s harvest.
Australia exported a total of 143 tonnes last year; with NSW accounting for 20 tonnes, Victoria 61 tonnes, and Tasmania 62 tonnes. The total is estimated at more than $2million, more than half of which was shipped after January.
Export protocols have been agreed with China and Thailand. Mr Bramble says with these countries there is sea freight cold treatment for fruit fly, and Indonesia requires fumigation to prevent fruit fly.