The Australian vegetable and potato industry has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a long-awaited free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea, which will see the elimination of tariffs on potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and a host of other horticultural products.

The free trade agreement with Korea is a win for Australia’s 2,000 potato growers, who will now be able to access a developing market without the restrictions of tariffs.
“Potatoes will see an immediate elimination of tariffs into Korea, which means that growers will be able to reap the benefits of the new agreement in the early months of 2014,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
In 2012-13, $7.4 million of vegetables, including $6.3 million of potatoes, were exported to Korea. With a FTA, the value of potato exports to Korea has the potential to increase dramatically.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed the outcome of long-term negotiations with Korea in Parliament this afternoon, stating that Korea was Australia’s third-largest goods export market and would be worth “$5 billion between 2015 and 2030, and boost the economy by around $650 million annually after 15 years.”
“The establishment of a free trade agreement with Korea is a momentous outcome for the Australian horticulture industry and will create new opportunities for Australian growers to supply first-class produce to Korea’s citizens,” said Mr Gurney.
Joining the list of vegetables now eligible for trade with Korea under the FTA are cherries, dried grapes, fruit and vegetable juice, apricots, mangoes, peaches and plums.
“We commend the Federal Government and Minister for Trade, the Hon. Andrew Robb MP, on delivering this outcome for the benefit of Australian vegetable and potato growers,” said Mr Gurney.
Exporting to Asia has been a significant focus of the Australian vegetable industry throughout 2013, with a number of initiatives designed to facilitate trade with our northern neighbours.
“With our proximity to the region and capacity to supply Asia with fresh and safe produce, this announcement could not have come at a better time for Australian growers,” said Mr Gurney.
The FTA will now enter a legal verification process and must be approved by Cabinet in both countries. It will then be signed off in a formal ceremony and come into effect around the middle of 2014.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail: