Export markets to Asia and the Middle East must be expanded, and continued investment in industry research and development (R&D) is key, if the Australian vegetable industry is to continue thriving, says AUSVEG CEO Mr Richard Mulcahy.

In an address to be delivered today to industry and local business representatives in Kalbar, Queensland, Mr Mulcahy encouraged the Australian vegetable industry to continue to explore export markets with neighbouring Asian countries, and lower its production costs, if it is to capitalise on the recently signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

“The FTA with China is an important step for the Australian vegetable industry in its development as a powerhouse of international horticultural production,” said Mr Mulcahy.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

“Many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including China, have booming middle-class populations wanting to import produce. They are attracted to Australia’s fantastic reputation, and know our growers use the safest production methods to grow the best quality produce in the world.”

“The industry must continue to invest heavily into R&D to increase production quality and transport capabilities, and decrease costs, to help growers break into export markets.”

“Consumers want the best quality vegetables available and are willing to pay a premium price for Australian-grown vegetables.”

In his keynote address to the Kalbar and District Community Bank’s AGM, Mr Mulcahy highlighted the important work that AUSVEG undertakes on behalf of vegetable growers to represent their concerns to Local, State and Federal Government, as well as through national media.

“Our recent work during the outbreak of cucumber green mottle mosaic virus has shown the importance of maintaining strong relationships with all levels of government to work through challenges,” said Mr Mulcahy.

“AUSVEG works to ensure our growers have the latest information to deal with incipient issues which could greatly affect them, and that their voices are heard by the millions of Australians who are proud of the vegetables their growers produce.”

Mr Mulcahy also highlighted the 2015 AUSVEG National Convention and National Awards for Excellence, to be held at Jupiters on the Gold Coast 25-27 June 2015. This premier event in Australian horticulture will continue to shine an international spotlight on Australian vegetable produce.

“The 2015 Convention will attract international delegates looking to invest in Australian horticulture, and inject millions of dollars into the Queensland and national economies,” said Mr Mulcahy.

  Stefan Oberman, AUSVEG Spokesperson.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0425 782 968, Email: stefan.oberman@ausveg.com.au