2 November 2020

AUSVEG, the peak industry body for the Australian vegetable industry, has welcomed the launch of Free Trade Advantage – Austrade’s new online tool designed to help Australian exporters take advantage of Australia’s free trade agreements (FTAs).

The Free Trade Advantage portal will host over 40 hours of content, including resources on exporting and trade, interactive modules, digital FTA seminars and more to help businesses become more confident and proficient in the exporting process and capturing the full benefits that FTAs provide for Australian exporters.

AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development Michael Coote said that the training tool was an important resource to help exporting vegetable growers get their high-quality produce into key overseas markets and understand how to ensure they capture FTA tariff benefits on export shipments which contributes to the competitiveness of our fresh vegetable exports.

“The Government has demonstrated strong support for exporting businesses in the vegetable industry, including negotiating favourable FTAs with priority markets, Austrade’s development of the Free Trade Advantage online learning tool and the extension of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism, which is vital to ensure the industry can remain a major contributor to the global supply chain as the world emerges from COVID-19 in the years ahead,” said Mr Coote.

“AUSVEG was one of the industry bodies invited to trial the portal to ensure it is fit for purpose for exporting vegetable producers, and we are delighted with the quality product launched by Austrade.  Free Trade Advantage will be an informative, useful and practical tool to help exporters of all levels of experience brush up on using FTAs and how to capture the benefits they provide for Australian businesses.”

“Ensuring producers in the vegetable industry have the capabilities and opportunities to export their fresh produce to international markets is vital to ensure the ongoing viability of the vegetable industry.”

The Free Trade Advantage portal also complements other work that AUSVEG is undertaking for the industry to increase the capabilities of vegetable grower exporters, including the recent launch of the Export Fundamentals for Australian Fruit & Vegetable Growers: From Farmgate to International Markets e-learning training program, developed by AUSVEG and the Export Council of Australia.

“AUSVEG also delivers industry programs for vegetable growers, including tailored business support, online business etiquette training and the Vegetable Industry Export Program, delivered in partnership with Hort Innovation, which continues to support fresh vegetable exporters in spite of the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Demand has continued to be strong for Australian fresh vegetables from most of our export markets so far this year. Industry and government support for our exporting producers remains critical to ensure that our industry can continue to meet the international demand for high-quality Australian fresh vegetables.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au