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Potato growers to benefit as Thailand lifts tariffs on Australian potatoes

AUSVEG, the industry representative for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the announcement from Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that two key commitments are now realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which will improve market access for Australian potato exporters into the Thai market.

Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and removed tariff rate quotas that limited the volume of Australian seed and processing potatoes that could access the lower TAFTA tariff, meaning Australian seed and processing potato exports to Thailand are no longer subject to tariffs or limits on volume.

AUSVEG National Manager for Export Development, Michael Coote, said Australian potato growers stand to benefit from the increasing of trade into Thailand following the removal of tariff volumes and rates.

“Australian potato growers are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities in Thailand, which is becoming an increasingly important export market for Australian vegetable and potato growers,” said Mr Coote.

“Thailand is an emerging market for Australian potatoes in particular, with the Asian market currently the second largest importer of Australian potatoes behind South Korea.”

Last year Australia’s global fresh vegetable exports were valued at AUD$299 million. In the 2018/19 financial year, Australian vegetable exports to Thailand were valued at AUD$15 million, following strong growth in the Thai market over the past three years. The top vegetable exports to Thailand are onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and broccoli; potatoes make up 25 per cent of total Australian vegetable exports to Thailand.

“Even in the midst of the current economic climate, demand has continued to be strong for Australian fresh vegetables and potatoes in export markets, with enquiries still coming in from a range of international trading partners,” said Mr Coote.

“Australian potatoes and vegetables enjoy a positive reputation in international markets for quality and reliability of supply. The industry has seen positive export growth in recent years and it is important that we are able to continue to supply these markets during the COVID-19 disruption to maintain this hard-won market share.”

“This is another positive outcome of the government’s agenda to establish FTAs with trading partners to increase international trade and improve export conditions for Australian businesses. We acknowledge the efforts of the government to advocate for Australian growers and to help improve the viability of the industry.”

Processing potatoes produced in all states are permitted to import into Thailand subject to phytosanitary requirements. Seed potatoes from South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are currently approved by Thailand’s Department of Agriculture to be exported to Thailand.

Media contact: 
Shaun Lindhe
AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789,
Email: [email protected]

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