AUSVEG Advocacy Update – 25 May 2020
Risk of processed potato dumping
Over the last couple of weeks AUSVEG has been working with major potato processors to understand the potential risk of processed potatoes being dumped on the Australian market from Europe.
A recent decision from the European Union to compensate potato growers 50 million Euros due to an oversupply as a result of COVID-19 is concerning. Industry understands that there is a real risk that that product could end up in Australia.
Last week AUSVEG, with the support of McCain Foods and Simplot, wrote to Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, as well as the Prime Minister and a range of other federal ministers and members, raising its concern.
AUSVEG has, and is continuing, to investigate processes via the Anti-Dumping Commission and the International Trade Remedies Advisory Service as avenues to address this issue.
We have had good engagement from Minister Birmingham as well as Industry Minister Karen Andrews on this issue and will continue to work with them as we monitor the situation.
AUSVEG has been quoted in a range of media on this topic and some links are below.
- Potato growers spitting chips over European dumping threat – The Australian Financial Review
- Digging in for a fight: Australian growers spitting chips over potential influx of EU fries – ABC
- Region’s potato industry fears impact of cheap frozen fries dumped on the market – The Courier
AUSVEG is continuing to work on improvements to existing visa programs to help growers better access a competent, efficient and reliable workforce.
With backpacker numbers in the country in decline, feedback suggests that fewer backpackers are likely to be entering the country, which is a concern for industry.
AUSVEG is working with all the various departments on this issue and minister’s offices to improve visa programs such as the Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme and the Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement.