AHEIA - Providing leadership to support and strengthen Australia's trade in horticultural produce.


The Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) is the only organisation providing comprehensive advocacy and representation for trade in fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia. This trade surpassed $2.13 billion in 2018-19, comprising $1.69 billion in exports and $440 million in imports.
The AHEIA is the peak industry body for Australian horticultural exporters and importers of fresh produce. The Association’s board and members are representative stakeholders across the horticulture industry.

Membership to the AHEIA provides stakeholders representation and advocacy for issues that affect horticultural trade. Members are regularly updated and supported on all important concerns impacting exports and imports, and receive market intelligence through trade and competitor reporting. Activities of the AHEIA over the previous 12 months have included advocacy on behalf of members against proposed fee increases to export certification, engagement for the development of commercially oriented strategic plans for plant export operations and trade investment, FSANZ engagement on irradiation, airfreight support during Covid-19, enhanced documentation clearance with DAWE, improved cold disinfestation treatment standards for imports and exports and the facilitation of member information sessions on plant export management systems.

Upcoming opportunities for AHEIA members include participation in DAWE/AHEIA workshops for the co-design of systems that meet regulatory requirements and are aligned to the commercial pathway of fresh horticultural produce.

The Association seeks your support and participation as we respond to the ongoing challenges that confront horticultural trade, to safeguard the future prosperity of the industry.

The Association was started in 1987, as a ‘not for profit’ organisation representing the interests of Australian horticultural exporters to both Government and industry to facilitate trade.

A survey of members verified that AHEIA represents 65% of exporters and 75% of importers by value. This encouraging result validates the role of the Association as the peak industry body for horticultural imports and exports.

AHEIA’s membership consists of:
• Importers
• Exporters
• Value chain partners
• Peak Industry Bodies

The AHEIA upholds values of regular, open, transparent and direct communication.

AHEIA is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation, with a primary focus on advocacy to enhance the trade of horticultural produce in and out of Australia.
The Association seeks to foster collaboration across the value chain, providing leadership to support and strengthen Australia's competitive advantage in the trade of horticultural produce.

The AHEIA promotes the role of bilateral trade in horticulture and represents the views of Australian importers, exporters and value chain partners, across all traded horticultural produce.
The Association continues to develop coordinated approaches to resolve operational issues and improve the profitability of trade, with the goal of making exports and imports simple, transparent, and efficient.

AHEIA’s aims to lead decision-making, advocacy and action in trade:
• Market access
- To advocate for, and support, new market access
- To provide market intelligence and cross-commodity perspective
• Market intelligence
- To provide industry and government with global commercial perspective of horticultural trade
- To support information transfer and capacity building with/among members and throughout the industry
• Market expansion
- To grow trade in current markets
- To expand bilateral trade
- To promote the formation of trading partnerships with/among members
• Market maintenance
- To maintain and improve Australia's competitive advantage
- To reduce and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade
• Trade efficiency
- To ensure regulatory burdens and costs are minimised
- To ensure regulation does not jeopardise profitability of trade
- To ensure Australia rises to meet the challenges of the global trade dynamic

In order to achieve the goal of building international horticultural trade AHEIA maintains a strong focus on advocacy, consultation and communication, both internally and externally. The Association provides leadership and a point of contact in representing members and influencing decisions affecting the Industry.
This important function of the Association requires building strong working relationships with members, Federal Senators and Members of Parliament, Industry Stakeholders, relevant government departments and the Media.

• Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
• Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
• Department of Home Affairs
• Austrade
• Other departments as pertaining to focus detailed above
• Relevant international counterparts

• Value chain partners (including international counterparts)
• Peak Industry Bodies
• Horticulture Innovation Australia

Consultative Committees:
• HEICC – Horticultural Exports Industry Consultative Committee
The committee is the primary horticulture consultation body to discuss and engage on export inspection and certification issues, market access, departmental performance and regulatory activities affecting industry.
• IFCC – Imported Food Consultative Committee
The principal consultative committee to consider practical and strategic food related issues.
The aim of the IFCC is to provide the department and industry with a consultative forum to ensure that effective food safety and compliance outcomes are delivered without unnecessary impediments to trade by facilitating efficient and effective imported food regulation.
• IFPWG – Imported Fresh Produce Working Group
The IFPWG provides a forum for consultation and communication across government and industry in relation to the importation of fresh produce. Operational policy, procedures to facilitate efficient and effective biosecurity regulation and manage biosecurity risks are key areas of engagement.
• ITAP – Industry Trade Advisory Panel
ITAP is a cross-industry advisory panel providing industry perspective and input into the consideration of trade issues by Hort Innovation and the Department, with a focus on identifying issues relating to research and development that affect market access of Australian horticultural produce.
• ACSIAF – Air Cargo Security Industry Advisory Forum
Department of Home Affairs; Aviation and Maritime Security
A forum to discuss matters pertaining to air cargo security. Areas of engagement include Trusted Trade, Known Consignor, EACE, AACA, RACA, security declarations, audit processes and international/domestic air cargo security