Vegetable supplies remain healthy; no need to increase imports of vegetables
AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy today said that despite recent media reports to the contrary, there is no need for Australia to import more vegetables due the flood crisis in Queensland.
“Whilst there are transport and infrastructure problems in the movement of vegetables into and out of Queensland, the Australian national market can supply the current needs of consumers and there is certainly no need to increase the importation of vegetables,” said Mr Mulcahy.
AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
“Despite the devastation currently in Queensland, including problems such as the closure of the Brisbane Produce Markets, we are fortunate in that it is not currently the peak growing season in that State,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“With a few exceptions, such as sweet potatoes, ginger and pumpkins, vegetable prices on the whole remain relatively stable and we are not seeing fluctuations such as those that occurred after Cyclone Larry.”
“It is still difficult to fully assess the impacts of the floods but transport issues are now being overcome and stock is starting to flow again in Queensland.”
“The wet weather is causing headaches for growers right along the east coast of Australia, however, reports from the markets are of a softening in demand for vegetables and many products are still in good supply.”
“Consumers might expect to see some rain affected produce with slight blemishes, but we can assure consumers that despite some superficial damage to produce the nutrient quality, taste and shelf life is still generally good.”
“Without a doubt Australian grown produce is the safest and healthiest option for consumers and they should be wary of imported produce. There is currently no need to increase imports of vegetables and doing so will only hurt Australian growers and their families.”
Victorian grower and President of the Victorian Vegetable Growers Association, Luis Gazzola, said that “There are currently sufficient amounts of vegetables available at the Sydney and Melbourne Markets. Any supply issues in Queensland are being met from other parts of Australia.”
“Anyone who has been talking about importing more vegetables should tour the Sydney and Melbourne Markets to see how much produce is available. But again, logistics are a problem in getting produce to flood affected regions.”
“The wet weather will cause some ongoing problems in planting and harvesting, and put some pressure on crops, but on the whole things are fairly good for Victorian growers.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Tobin, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0431 939 920, Email: email@example.com