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Stink bug threatens Italian fruit

Country's entire pear crop said to be in danger following unprecedented outbreak, with apples and kiwifruit also at risk

ruit crops including pears, apples and kiwifruit in some of Italy's major producing regions are reportedly under grave threat following an unusually widespread outbreak of brown marmorated stink bug.

The insect, which is native to several Asian countries and has recently established itself as a pest in part of Europe, North America and South America, is said to be worryingly prevalent this year across much of northern Italy, including Piedmont Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Trentino-South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

According to reports, the outbreak is so serious that some believe it threatens to wipe out Italy's entire pear crop, with estimated potential damage to that sector alone ranging from €250m to in excess of €400m.

Giorgio Mercuri, president of national cooperatives alliance ACI's agricultural division, called on the government to set up an emergency committee of ministerial and regional representatives to tackle the problem, which he said had been further aggravated by an unseasonable climate.

"This dramatic crisis, whose financial impact on businesses is remarkable, is now also expanding to other products – vegetables, soy and wheat – and regions such as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont, and is predicted that the damage will further increase," he said.

Agricultural body Confagricoltura's Emilia Romagna office released a statement confirming the bug had been detected in Italy's so-called golden quadrilateral, an area linking Ferrara, Modena, Bologna and Ravenna that is responsible for producing almost three-quarters of the country's pear crop.

The group's regional president Albano Bergami, who also produces pears near Ferrara, underscored the severity of the episode. "The reality is beyond our imagination and even more negative than any ominous initial forecast," he commented.

"Serious damage caused by the Asian bug is also being found on all varieties of pears, including Santa Maria in full harvest and even in the areas where the killer insect in the past had never appeared, so much so that now its presence can be considered endemic."

Uphill struggle

Even where crops are protected, for example with netting, the magnitude of the outbreak and the sheer number of bugs is apparently leading to damage that renders the remaining crops unprofitable.

"Some of our fellow producers have already left the pear plants to their fate because of [brown marmorated stink bug]," revealed Simone Spreafico, owner and director of Spreafico, one of Italy's largest fresh produce marketers, in conversation with Italiafruit.

A video recorded by Spreafico and posted on the Italiafruit website late last week showed a massive swarm of stink bugs apparently at a pear orchard in Veneto.

Another video, posted on Twitter by Professor Max Suckling, biosecurity science group leader at New Zealand's Plant and Food Research, showed the bugs crawling across a mower at an apple research orchard in Trentino, north-west Italy, managed by Fondazione Edmund Mach.

"The latest case was this week: a 40ha farm in Rovigo, which had just started harvesting the summer variety Santa Maria," Spreafico added. "After having seen the huge damage to the fruit, the owner decided to abandon all operations."

Even with covers, he said, volume losses would still be around 30-40 per cent. "Younger bugs, in fact, are so small that they can often slip into nets. We can do nothing to counter them. Unfortunately, this insect will take away even the little pears that we expected to harvest this year."

As far as Spreafico was concerned, it made no sense to produce if only two-thirds of the potential production ends up being viable. "It can be done for a year, two at most," he told Italiafruit. "The 2019 vintage is considered lost. Next year, we will be forced to cut down the trees.

"As producers we need immediate responses from government and research bodies, so we can overcome the bug problem in the shortest possible time."

Fruitnet understands that some producers in Italy are looking to adopt control measures similar to those employed in other parts of Europe and the US, where affected growers have been known to deploy an insect known as the Samurai wasp to bring stink bug infestations under control.

The wasps are known to deposit eggs in the bug's own eggs, which then die as the parasitic larvae grow.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Mike Knowles

New chief for export import association - AHEIA

There is a changing of the guard at the Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) this month, with Dr Andréa Magiafoglou taking over from retiring CEO Dominic Jenkin.


According to AHEIA Chairman, Joseph Saina, Ms Magiafoglou brings to the role comprehensive experience within horticultural market access, trade development, market readiness and export compliance.


“The appointment of Dr Andréa Magiafoglou will further enhance and enrich the solid representational foundation built and refined by Dominic Jenkin,” Mr Saina said. “Andréa has been involved at the grass roots level of horticultural production environments and has a proven ability to engage with the diverse range of stakeholders along the value chain.


“Over the last three years the AHEIA has continued to support and promote a highly proactive level of engagement across the broadening spectrum of dynamic and complex horticultural trade issues.

 

Source: Fresh Source - https://brisbanemarkets.com.au/wp-content/uploads/docs/FS67_WINTER19.pdf

 

Brisbane Market community invests in export security

Security for fresh produce headed to the export market via aviation has increased and businesses within the Brisbane Markets® have installed infrastructure to ensure exports can continue without a hitch.


Since 1 March 2019, the new Enhanced Air Cargo Examination (EACE) process has been in effect globally and brings all export air freight up to the standards applied to US-bound cargo, which has been in place since 2017.


For fresh produce, this involves using electronic metal detection or human intervention to examine the lowest level of consolidation, known as ‘piece-level examination’, prior to uplift on to aircraft. All products destined for export must be examined by a Registered Air Cargo Agent (RACA), unless they are being sent by a Known Consigner or an Accredited Air Cargo Agent (AACA) in which case
it is assumed that the cargo has already been examined on a piece-level.


As of 1 July, the only Regulated Air Cargo Agent based at the Brisbane Markets site is Lindsay Fresh Logistics. The approved
Known Consigners on site are Alfred E Chave Pty Ltd, A.S. Barr Group, and Global Fresh Australia Pty Ltd, trading as J.H. Leavy & Co. All involved have had to heighten their security, including installing physical locks, implementing staff protocols, applying for Air Security Identification Cards, and creating procedures to keep mainstream and secured produce separate. 


Both Alfred E Chave and J.H. Leavy use manual examination methods, while A.S. Barr and Lindsay Fresh Logistics have
installed electronic metal detectors. 

International Logistics Manager for J.H. Leavy, Justin Keir, said that educating staff and site visitors of the changes was the biggest challenge of becoming a Known Consigner. “Visitors now have to wait until they are attended to by an appropriate staff member, so we’ve had to train our staff to challenge people they see wandering around that aren’t a part of our organisation,” Mr Keir said.


Anthony Joseph, Export Director at Alfred E Chave, said the security program registration process was straightforward as Alfred E Chave already had the critical infrastructure in place to support the program and its requirements. “As a significant exporter out of Australia, it was critical we became a Known Consigner to ensure business continued as usual,” Mr Joseph said.


A.S Barr Group Principal, Joe Saina, said becoming involved in EACE was essential to providing services to their customers and involved considerable changes to their site security. “As an international logistic provider supporting other exporters both on and
off shore, we had to become a Known Consigner. It means that our overseas customers are able to contact growers to source produce and we can undertake the logistics of getting that produce from the grower to the customer,” Mr Saina said.


In expectation of these changes, Lindsay Fresh Logistics installed an ElectroMagnetic Inspection Scanner (EMIS) which provides automatic detection of detonators and electronic circuits from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), ammunition and weapons composed of metal. If found, the scanner provides both a visual and an audible alarm. 


The EMIS at Lindsay Fresh is large enough to examine pallets of cargo, currently height limited to 150cm, does not depend on visual interpretation by the operator, and will not damage perishable items. According to Glen Lindsay, CEO of Lindsay Fresh Logistics, his company made the large investment in infrastructure to increase public safety as well as to add value and services for
their customers. “With the implementation of EACE, nothing is transported overseas via air cargo without being metal and explosive
trace detected, it is now the international standard,” Mr Lindsay said.


“Without our RACA certification and the infrastructure we have implemented in association with it, Lindsay Fresh Logistics
wouldn’t have an export air division.”

Source : Fresh Source - https://brisbanemarkets.com.au/wp-content/uploads/docs/FS67_WINTER19.pdf

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Fresh - Piece-level examination: Lindsay Fresh - Logistics 2IC Export/Import Manager, Cameron Wallace, putting a pallet through

the Electro-Magnetic Inspection Scanner.

J. H. Leavy & Co. warehouse set to go-ahead at South Gate West

A further benchmark-setting, purpose-built 5,800m² refrigerated warehouse is set to be constructed at Brisbane Markets®.


The warehouse is to be positioned on the corner of Sherwood Road and Martin Taylor Drive, on land currently used for car
parking at South Gate West, where the Saturday Fresh and Sunday Discovery weekend retail markets are held.


The facility is likely to take up to a year to build, and will include extensive cold room, ripening and methyl bromide rooms, storage
capabilities and an Australian Quarantine Inspection Serviceapproved fumigation facility featuring recaptured technology.


Brisbane Markets Limited (BML) Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Young, said J.H. Leavy & Co.’s decision to set a benchmark with the construction of the planned warehouse facility was closely aligned with his organisation’s strategic focus. “Brisbane Markets® is fast becoming noted on the international stage for its state-of-the art warehousing and distribution facilities. It is certainly another feather in our cap to be able to attract developments of this calibre,” Mr Young said. “Such recognition is the product of the BML Board’s commitment to stakeholder engagement and a concentrated site maintenance and development strategy since the horticulture industry took ownership of the site in 2002,” he said.


J.H. Leavy & Co. General Manager, Ben Bartlett, said every cold chain and technological consideration had been put into the design phase with the aim of delivering state-of-the-art facilities supported by the latest technology. “The produce industry globally is changing and with that comes the need for larger facilities that are capable of vertically integrating more of the produce supply chain and have the ability to meet and anticipate our clients’ needs ongoing,” Mr Bartlett said.


“Expanding in Queensland is important to us because of our business’ long history here. We are in Australia’s largest fresh produce production region and have a fantastic platform from which to continue our growth,” he said.


The Darling Group acquired J.H. Leavy & Co. in 2016, significantly upping its scale and capability. Darling Group Managing Director, Andrew Darling, said the development would be a significant milestone for the Group. He said it was imperative that the business add greater value to its growers’ and customers’ businesses through offering reliability of product and service.

“The new warehouse will play a significant role in enabling innovation, expansion and improving our service offerings. This
development is an exciting step towards greater opportunities for us, our growers and our clients,” Mr Darling said.

 

Source : Fresh Source - https://brisbanemarkets.com.au/wp-content/uploads/docs/FS67_WINTER19.pdf

Image: The architect’s rendition of the new J.H. Leavy & Co. warehouse - courtesy of J H Leavy

 

 

Australian stonefruit rides high

Exports climb to record levels over 2018/19 season, with shipments to mainland China propelling the growth


It’s been a vintage season for Australian stonefruit exports, with volumes climbing to 22,861 tonnes between July 2018 and April 2019, according to data prepared by Fresh Intelligence Consulting.

The performance betters the previous record of 20,600 tonnes set in 2003 for the 10-month period, within which the bulk of Australia’s stonefruit harvest and exports take place.

The 2018/19 volume represents a 29 per cent increase on the 2017/18 campaign, while the overall value of trade (A$88.68m in 2018/19) rose 37 per cent year-on-year.

Mainland China continues to emerge as a focal point for the Australian industry, with exports to the Asian nation climbing 88 per cent year-on-year to 9,348 tonnes over the 2018/19 campaign. This translated to a market share of 40.9 per cent.

Singapore ranked second on the list of export destinations by volume, taking 2,530 tonnes, 5 per cent up on 2017/18.

Strong export growth was reported in Saudi Arabia (volumes up 42 per cent to 1,957 tonnes) and Indonesia (up 60 per cent to 993 tonnes).

Peaches and nectarines accounted for 69 per cent of the export shipments, while plums represented 29 per cent.

Peak industry body Summerfruit Australia (SAL) recently appointed Trevor Ranford as its new chief executive. Ranford replaces John Moore, who will continue to work with SAL on improving export market access for Australian growers.

Ranford has over 40 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including various executive roles with organisations in the pipfruit and cherry industries.

Click here to see graph

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones

 

Australia: Freight costs are crippling competitiveness

Freight and logistics have been identified as the largest single cost item in the production of many agricultural products. This fact has led to concerns about Australia's competitiveness on the international commodities market.

A report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by AgriFutures Australia, investigated farm transport costs from paddock to port for a sector that sees roughly two-thirds of food and fibre exported.

AgriFutures Australia managing director, John Harvey, said freight costs were critical to maintaining Australia's global competitiveness and would continue to impact agriculture's export performance into the future: "In Australia, freight costs are highest for grains at 27.5% of gross income, and fruit and vegetables at 21%. By comparison, poultry a domestic market, has the lowest relative farm freight costs, totalling 1% of gross income.”

"Knowing how much farmers pay for transporting their produce to consumers is crucial to measure the competitiveness of Australian farmers and to find out where the transport of agricultural goods faces pinch points and bottlenecks."

Mr Harvey said the report showed Australia has comparatively higher freight costs for many of its key commodities, compared to international competitors: "It's hurting our bottom line. Strategic planning and regulatory framework are required to ensure infrastructure can be efficiently utilised by industry."

National Farmers' Federation chief executive officer, Tony Mahar, said the supply chain research provided a benchmark of Australia's performance and its ability to compete on agricultural transport costs at a global level: "NFF welcomes AgriFutures Australia's work in this space as it gives us solid data about the agricultural sector and challenges faced by different industries. It is critical to look beyond the 'now' to consider future agricultural freight issues and to highlight possible options for potential improvement in transport infrastructure and regulation within the agricultural sector."

More case studies can be found in The Impact of Freight Costs on Australian Farms report produced under AgriFutures Australia's National Rural Issues Program.

Source: goodfruitandvegetables.com.au  via www.freshplaza.com 

Freshmax Group opens new facility

Sydney site boosts leading Australasian group’s packaging, ripening and cold storage operations

Valleyfresh Australia, part of the Freshmax Group, officially opened its new Sydney Service and Distribution Centre on 29 May.

The 6,500m2 purpose-built facility will boost the company’s packaging, ripening and cold storage operations, adding to its existing facilities in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Marsden Park site is strategically located within the Greater Western Sydney growth corridor, positioning the Valleyfresh and Freshmax businesses close to key production hubs, transport networks and retail distribution centres.

“This [facility] makes us really relevant in this market now,” Freshmax Group CEO, Murray McCallum, told more than 100 guests who attended the opening. “It will act as a springboard for our growth in New South Wales.”

The warehouse component of facility has ripening capacity for 480 pallets, plus coolroom storage for a further 400 pallets.

A dedicated packing room, fitted out with equipment from Italian manufacturer Sorma and its Australian agent J-Tech, will not only cater for Freshmax’s domestic and international orders, but also its growing third-party packing operation.

“This site is the first of its kind and scale in the Sydney area. It sets us up to expand our third-party services offering for the region, whilst continuing to deliver superb service to our national retail partners,” McCallum added.

Built in accordance with Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) requirements, the centre will soon be accredited to handle audits on import and export consignments, with rapid cooling and fumigation facilities on site.

Valleyfresh Australia general manager, Simon Powell, thanked the wide range of parties that contributed to the construction of the facility, which has taken two and a half years to complete.

“It has been a long road, but the partners we have worked with have supported us the whole way,” Powell said.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones

Hort Connections a “one-stop shop” for entire industry

The upcoming Hort Connections 2019 in Australia looks set to be the biggest and most international edition yet, serving as a key meeting point for members from across the global fruit and vegetable supply chain.

The third-annual installment of the industry conference and trade show, which is co-organized by industry body AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 24-26.

Attendance figures have seen incremental growth since Hort Connections was established in 2017, as a fusion between AUSVEG’s National Horticulture Convention and the PMA A-NZ’s Fresh Connections.

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which will feature a large range of thought-provoking educational talks on numerous issues related to the produce industry. The event will also feature a full trade show with hundreds of companies exhibiting as well as industry tours to local retailers and farms.

“It’s gone from strength to strength for us in terms of people coming to the event,” said AUSVEG national marketing manager Nathan McIntyre.

“We’ve seen steady growth each year and the industry feedback that we’ve received has been really strong. We’ve done the right thing by combining the events together to create one big event for everyone to come to at the same point in time, rather than several different events that take a lot of time and resources to get people to attend. It’s a one-stop shop for all of horticulture.”

The event’s theme this year is ‘Growing our Food Future’, with many of the educational sessions to be focused on topics like sustainability, how food will be grown in the years to come, producing more with less, and reducing waste.

There will also be keynote addresses from leading local and global agricultural thought leaders, including former Masterchef winner Adam Liaw, Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey and athlete and inspirational speaker Samantha Gash.

“We have a really strong breadth of content. We bring our speaker content up into different areas of the supply chain so that no matter who is attending, they get some value out of being part of that conference,” McIntyre said.



“We’ll also have around 200 exhibiting companies who’ll attend this year in Melbourne and that makes it a very attractive proposition for growers and anyone in the supply chain to come and get the latest information on products and services that are relevant to their business.”

Ample networking opportunities at Hort Connections
In addition, attendees will enjoy ample networking opportunities with people from around the world.

“Hort Connections is the largest event in Australian horticulture and are building our international presence, which is an important component for us as well,” McIntyre said.

He explained there would be a large number of buyers from key Asian markets and a strong presence of people from other regions like New Zealand, Europe and India.

“For people within the horticulture or fresh produce industry in Australia in any capacity, we have built what we feel is a fantastic event that is the largest in the industry,” he said.

“If you wanted to get in front of a lot of prominent growers, if they’re your customers, then they’ll be there at Hort Connections. And if you’re a grower wanting to find out about the latest products and services in the industry, then all those people will be there on the trade show floor.”

For overseas attendees, McIntyre noted that there is a rising number of international companies exhibiting on the trade floor amid growing demand for products and technology from elsewhere in the world.

“We’re finding that Australian farmers have got a real interest for different technologies that might be coming out of some other regions that are not available as of yet,” he said.

“I think if there are companies that have some technologies available that might provide solutions to these growers, they would definitely be receptive to hearing about how they can potentially fix some of the problems they’re facing in their businesses. We encourage them to come along and be part of this event.”

For more information, visit www.hortconnections.com.au 

 

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

Global Freight Demand to Triple by 2050

Global demand for transport will continue to grow dramatically over the next three decades, with global freight demand expected to triple by 2050, according to projections by the International Transport Forum (ITF), an intergovernmental think tank.

The ITF Transport Outlook 2019 predicts that a further rapid growth of e-commerce could increase global freight volumes by between two and 11 percent by 2050, depending on the transport mode used. Freight-related CO2 emissions would increase by four percent. Conversely, the large-scale uptake of 3D printing in manufacturing and for home use could reduce global freight volumes by 28 percent and related CO2 emissions by 27 percent. However, a high level of uptake is not very likely.

New trade routes could affect global trade volumes and related CO2 emissions marginally, but could have a big impact on logistics chains and transport infrastructure. The combined introduction of new technologies and improvements in logistical efficiency could lower freight-related CO2 emissions by 60 percent in 2050 compared to current projections.

Of the 108 trillion tonne-kilometers transported worldwide in 2015, 70 percent traveled by sea, 18 percent by road, nine percent by rail and two percent by inland waterway. Less than 0.25 percent of global freight in tonne-kilometers is transported by air. The projected compound annual growth rate of freight is anticipated to be 3.4 percent through 2050.

Air freight, while representing a marginal share of total freight transport, will have the highest compound annual growth rate of all modes through 2030 (5.5 percent) and 2050 (4.5 percent). Its growth is driven by larger shares of high-value goods being transported by air, most notably in China.

Seaborne trade volumes grew four percent in 2017, the fastest rate since 2012. An estimated 10.7 billion tonnes were transported by sea that year. In terms of tonne-kilometres, global shipping activity amounted to over 58 trillion in 2017, an increase of five percent on 2016. An estimated 752 million TEUs were shipped through container ports. The size of the global ship fleet also grew 3.3 percent in 2017, but the growth in capacity was surpassed by increased freight volumes.

Maritime shipping will remain the largest contributor to global tonne-kilometres. Ships will carry out more than three-quarters of all goods movements by 2050. The remaining goods will be transported by road (17 percent) and rail (seven percent). Maritime shipping covers most of the movement of goods over long distances, and this will continue to be the case in the coming years. The current demand pathway projects that maritime freight transport will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.6 percent through 2050. This will lead to a near tripling of maritime trade volumes by 2050.

The economic value of freight flows in the North Pacific and Indian Oceans will increase nearly four-fold between 2015 and 2050. Approximately one third of all maritime freight movements in 2050 will take place in these two regions. The North Atlantic Ocean will remain the third-busiest maritime corridor, with 15 percent of maritime freight movements in 2050, some 38 trillion tonne-kilometres.

Slower-than-expected growth in international trade has led to overcapacity in certain maritime transport sectors and locations. Since capital investments in the shipping industry cannot be easily recuperated, companies may seek to cut costs in other ways in order to maintain profitability. This could lead to shipping operators concentrating on a limited number of ports and routes, which in turn could strain the capacity of these ports. Current demand pathway projections indicate that scheduled investments in port capacity should be capable of accommodating maritime freight demand through 2030 in most areas of the world except in South Asia.

Inland waterway freight traffic in China is projected to remain well above that of any other continent. The volume of inland waterway freight in China was estimated at 4.4 trillion tonne-kilometres in 2017, a 10.9 percent increase from 2016.

 

Source: www.maritime-executive.com

 

China hits back with tariffs

Following a recent increase to 25 per cent on Chinese goods to the US, China has retaliated against US imports
China has retaliated to a tariff increase from the US made last Friday 9 May, following a lag in agreement to level-out overall trade between the two nations.

Tariffs on around US$60bn of goods imported from the US to China will now be impacted. These do not include fresh fruits and vegetables but impact a number of processed fruit items and agricultural products, and add to the overall trade tension.

China’s ministry of finance said in a statement that the measures had led to escalation of trade frictions, contrary to the consensus between China and the United States on resolving trade differences through consultations. It said the move has jeopardised the interests of both sides and not met the general expectations of the international community.

The ministry noted that according to national foreign trade law and tariff regulations, the State Council Tariff Commission has decided on 1 June, 2019 tariffs will subsequently increase on imported goods.

There are four separate increases on different listed items. There will be a 25 per cent increase in tariff on 2,493 items; 20 per cent increase on 1,078 items, 10 per cent increase on 947 items, and a 5 per cent increase on 595 items.

A number of frozen fruit and vegetable lines like peas, spinach, berries, nuts, sweet potato and corn are impacted, as well as processing equipment like washing, sorting and grading machinery.

Feeling the strain

The ongoing tariff dispute, now in place for over a year, has made a mark on fresh produce trade between the two nations.

Data analysed by Fresh Intelligence Consulting shows China is becoming less reliant on the US as a supplier of imported fruit. Its main imports by value are cherries, oranges, table grapes and apples.

In 12 months to March 2019 China imported 79,439 tonnes of fresh fruit valued at US$219.3m. That was 47 per cent lower in value terms than in the same period the year prior.

In the first quarter of 2019, orange imports were 80 per cent lower in value compared with the same quarter in 2018, down to 7,500 tonnes from 33,000 tonnes respectively.

Egypt was noted as picking up some of the additional volume with a 10,000 tonne increase in the march quarter of 2019 compared with the year prior.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

US implements 25 per cent tariff

Threatened increase in tariffs on Chinese goods now in place with deal still pending between US and China


US president, Donald Trump, has implemented taxes of 25 per cent on US$200bn worth of goods, including cauliflower, carrots, leeks, turnips, mushrooms, garlic, onions, nuts, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries.

Tariff increases came into play last Friday 10 May, up from a previous 10 per cent. South China Morning Post reported goods already bound for the US from China will not need to adhere to the 25 per cent tax providing they can prove goods were purchased before last Friday.

The decision has come after the US and China could not reach a trading agreement, following a year of back and forth turmoil, ignited by increased tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China by Trump.

BBC News reported that Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Centre was quick to point out that the rise in tariffs is likely to have a negative effect on US companies and consumers.

“Those are all US companies who are suddenly facing a 25 per cent increase in cost, and then you have to remember that the Chinese are going to retaliate,” she said.

Following the increase on US$200bn of goods, Reuters reported Trump has ordered a tariff hike on all remaining imports from China to the US, which will impact an additional US$300bn of goods. The final decision on this order has not yet been made, according to reports.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

 

Citrus Australia: Harsher penalties for people who threaten industry

Industry organisation Citrus Australia has stated it is extremely disappointed at the ‘slap on the wrist’ issued to an Australian resident who attempted to smuggle infected budwood into the country. The perpetrator was fined $7,000 for importing the prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers. The citrus plant cutting tested positive to two viruses that could cause diseases in citrus and also contained insects.

CEO Nathan Hancock has expressed his sincere thanks to the customs officer who found the cutting but said it was disappointing the judge did not take the opportunity to issue a severe penalty as a warning to others.

“A fine of $7,000 for importing a prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers is grossly inadequate when you consider the economic damage that could have occurred,” Hancock said. “The citrus industry, working with Government departments and other bodies, is currently working to eradicate the exotic disease citrus canker from the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Whilst confident we will achieve our goal, the cost to eradicate this could be in the tens of millions of dollars and has severely disrupted several growers’ lives in Kununurra and areas around Darwin.”

Hancock said deliberate acts like this put the livelihoods of thousands of Australians working in rural and regional Australia at risk, and could decimate the $800 million dollar citrus industry. Australians who now fail to declare plant or animal matter can receive fines up to $63,000 and up to five years in jail.

According to citrusaustralia.com.au, Hancock has asked judges in future cases to consider the impact imported pests and disease would have on the Australian horticulture industry and set an example through far tougher penalties in the future.

Source: www.freshplaza.com