A report released on Friday by the Federal Government’s Anti-Dumping Commission has found that several lines of processed tomato product from Italy arrived on our shores at dumped prices, causing the Australian tomato processing industry to suffer.

The report is in response to an application lodged by SPC Ardmona which stated that their business had been injured through price suppression, reduced profitability and lower sales volume, as a result of the tomatoes being exported to Australia from Italy at margins which constitute dumping.

“This report highlights the need for greater pre-emptive action to prevent dumping before it happens, rather than taking action after the industry has, as identified in this report, been damaged,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.

AUSVEG is the leading voice for Australian horticulture and Peak Industry Body for the vegetable and potato industry, representing 9,000 growers Australia-wide.

“The dumping of cheaply produced produce, largely from European countries where a number of governmental support mechanisms exist, is rampant in both the processed tomato and potato industry, and it is causing significant damage to Australian processors and growers,” said Mr Gurney.

“The closure of the McCain potato processing plant in Penola last month is just the latest in a spate of closures of Australian vegetable processing plants in the past two years, largely as a result of the flood of imported frozen produce entering our country,” said Mr Gurney.

In 2011-12, a record $908 million of vegetables were imported into Australia, according to Agricultural Commodity Statistics 2012, produced by ABARES.

Earlier this year, SPC Ardmona Managing Director Peter Kelly called for Emergency Safeguard action to be put in place out of concerns for the damage and injury being caused to the local horticultural industry.

“The findings of this report vindicate Mr Kelly’s calls for Safeguard Actions, as the horticulture industry is under incredible pressure from dumped foreign foods, and if this is not remedied our nation may find itself without local businesses to grow or process our own food. This would be a travesty for a proud agricultural nation that “rode on a sheep’s back” to become the country that we are today,” said Mr Gurney.

“Dumping laws must be proactive to prevent damage and injury to the Australian industry, as the report today has found. If action is not taken, large Australian employers like SPC Ardmona may go the way of Rosella, the iconic Australian soup and sauce brand which closed its doors earlier this year,” said Mr Gurney.


MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail : hugh.gurney@ausveg.com.au