Are Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) the golden ticket for Australian horticulture?

This was the question on everyone’s lips at the Kalfresh Panel Forum, held today on Saturday 27 June as part of the 2015 National Horticulture Convention, incorporating AUSVEG and Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL), where FTAs and their potential benefits for growers were discussed.

Australia has signed FTAs with South Korea, Japan and China in the last 12 months, which could potentially increase horticultural export opportunities with these countries as a result of reduction in tariffs on fresh produce.

Panel members included CEO of Export Council of Australia Lisa McAuley, Manager of Sales and Procurement at Montague Fresh Business Scott Montague, Market Access Manager for Citrus Australia David Daniels and AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development Michael Coote.

“This panel of industry experts brought their wide-ranging professional expertise to the forum to educate and entertain attendees about the challenges and opportunities present in export and the impact that recent FTAs with our regional neighbours could have on their businesses,” said Mr Coote.

“With many sectors of Australian horticulture looking to export markets as a way to grow their businesses, this panel discussion was of interest to Convention attendees and aimed to address some of the misconceptions of the export trade.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticulture body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers. APAL is the industry body representing Australia’s more than 600 commercial apple and pear growers.

“The Panel Forum is always a highlight of the Convention, and this year’s focus on export and FTAs definitely engaged attendees considering exports as a way to expand their businesses,” said Mr Coote.

“We are hopeful that vegetable, potato, apple and pear growers will reap the benefits from these discussions.”

The Panel Forum was proudly supported by Kalfresh, which grows, packs and markets fresh vegetables for customers in Queensland, Australia and overseas.

The 2015 National Horticulture Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence is the biggest event in Australian horticulture, with over 1,400 delegates set to attend this year’s event at Jupiters Gold Coast from June 25 – 27. For more information on the event, or any other event held during the 2015 National Horticulture Convention, please contact the AUSVEG media contact below.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Michael Coote, AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development,
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0416 016 202, Email: