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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


AHEIA pleased that government focus has turned to horticulture exports

The Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association has welcomed the Federal Coalition Government's multi-million-dollar commitment to growing horticulture exports, provided in this month's budget.

A total of $29.4 million worth of measures were announced, to target agricultural sectors with high export growth potential. Exact details are still vague, given the Federal Government went into caretaker mode soon after the budget was released, due to the pending election on May 18. The AHEIA says this is the first time it can remember focus being placed on horticulture exports.

"It's great to see horticulture is taking the spotlight on the agriculture trade agenda because it is an incredibly positive story for the Australian economy," CEO Dominic Jenkin said. "It hasn't attracted as much attention (in the past) so it was great to see that as the centrepiece of agriculture trade announcements. Furthermore, the focus on gaining additional market access and improving the conditions for trade into our major markets. However, there is precious little detail in the statement, so time will tell where the investments go, and the quality of those investments."

One of the major commitments was to provide $11.4 million over four years to break through the technical and scientific trade barriers so Australian fruit and vegetables can get market access into more countries. The AHEIA welcomes any way to streamline that process.

“Horticultural trade is often limited by sanitary and phytosanitary measures,” Mr Jenkin said. “This can occur as either delays in the assessment and establishment of appropriate measures, or the imposition of impractical measures. Investment in improving horticultural market access and trade should promote greater transparency and understanding in the application of phytosanitary measures. This would include timely approval of market access applications and to promptly and transparently conduct risk assessments when required. Attention should be paid to improving the technical dialogue with our trading partners to ensure the most practicable solutions are selected and implemented."

He added that the problem with that is that is that while the process is intended to be purely scientific, it can often become political, in terms of "the way that it is drafted, the timeliness, and whom they engage to draft it".

"Market access is an inherently political process, and trade in every sense is reciprocal," he said. "We will need to have a hard look at access and conditions that we impose upon exporters to our market, and our operational practices to support that trade. So, I think it is relational, so I think we need to be spending money to improve the relationship with our most important trading partners. We have been challenged by our broader government perspectives, in terms of our relationships with our more important trading partners. It's important that we move to improve those, and show real value to our trading partners, show we care about what they are interested in and compromise to find mutual benefits, rather than engage in confrontational approaches."

Mr Jenkin would also like to see a greater focus on improving relationships with trading partners, which can sometimes involve delicate political negotiations.

"Relationships are rarely maintained through the pragmatic argument of facts, but rather deep understanding," he said. "If we know only our own needs and we ignore the needs of our trading partners we cannot expect relationships to prosper. We must look deeply in order to identify and understand the needs, aspirations and adversities they encounter. This is the groundwork required for relationships to prosper."

The Federal Government stated that only 18 per cent of horticulture production was exported, meaning that there is huge potential for growth. The industry is currently taking a diverse approach, supplying to around 30 countries. However, one of the most important areas for growth in recent years has of course been China.

The AHEIA says one of the eventual key winners of this investment will be regional communities.

"At the end of the day, it is all flowing back to the farms and our regional communities," Mr Jenkin said. "In horticulture, up to 50 per cent of the cost of production is the labour component. Whilst it is a huge problem in terms of accessing this labour, it is also a positive for the communities that support those populations. It is extremely positive to see the investment in this area, and we would certainly welcome engagement with any government around the world in improving horticulture trade. Trade also means importing products as well, and we see maintaining that balance is vital in maintaining our status in our most important markets."

For more information
Dominic Jenkin
Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association
Phone: +61 423 394 476

Publication date: 4/17/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Australian fresh produce industry gearing up for export security changes

The Australian fresh produce sector is preparing for changes to air cargo export regulations, which will be introduced next week.

From 1 March 2019 all international export air cargo from Australia must be examined at piece-level by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent (RACA), or originate from a Known Consignor, and use technology like x-ray, or be physically inspected.

The Department of Home Affairs says the changes are necessary to strengthen security.

"The Australian Government’s first priority is to keep Australians safe and secure," a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said. "Aviation is an enduring and attractive target for terrorists. The Department has a strong and comprehensive aviation security framework that is continually revised to ensure that we remain ahead of the evolving threat."

The Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) has previously warned the move will have costly implications on Australian fresh produce industries, and has estimated total added costs to the industry could be up to A$0.22/kg, as well as up to a 24-hour delay at terminals.

The Department of Home Affairs says it has given the industry plenty of notice and that it has pro-actively engaged with industry to foster readiness for including writing directly to exporters.

"Security examination of export air cargo is not new," the spokes-person said. "All export air cargo is already examined prior to uplift onto an aircraft. The requirements being introduced on 1 March 2019 have been in place for United States bound cargo since July 2017. If businesses have questions about how the change will impact their current arrangements, they should contact their supply chain in the first instance."

The Cherry Growers Australia (CGA) are one of many industry groups that have advised their members to prepare themselves for the change, also advising that Currently, 30 per cent of Australian Cherries are exported to more than 30 countries in a highly competitive international market. It adds, that exporting cherries is a specialised market requiring attention and detail to cultural sensitivities, biosecurity, packaging, market access and entry and transportation. The type and variety of cherry exported is determined by market access and cultural tendencies accounting for preferences in taste, colour and flavour.

Exporters who have not already done so, should consider things like: packaging of products, handling of consolidated cargo, scheduling of deliveries, and how cargo is transported to reduce possible changes to delivery times and increased costs, therefore reducing delays. Businesses should also Consider becoming a 'Known Consignor'.

Further information about the change can be found on the Department’s webpage, www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/our-portfolios/transport-security/air-cargo-and-aviation/air-cargo

Publication date : 2/22/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Delay concerns over piece-level inspection

Produce industry concerned about wait times when security screening is implemented in Australia for all exports
Fresh produce will undergo compulsory security screening via x-ray or metal detector from 1 March if it arrives at airports without prior security clearance.

In the short term, scheduling is a concern for the industry whose perishable air cargo could suffer from time delays. It’s not just fruit and vegetables that will need to meet the requirement, but all Australian exported air cargo regardless of article or destination.

Growers and traders can choose to either register as a ‘Known Consignor’, meaning they must meet certain security protocols to bypass airport screening at the take-off point or have goods screened by a Registered Air Cargo Agent (RACA).

However, both Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the Australian Horticulture Exporters’ and Importers’ Association (AHEIA) and a representative from a global airline told Fruitnet that around two weeks out from the implementation date there are only a handful of RACAs on the list.

The aforementioned airline representative said the 1 March implementation date will be interesting to watch as it falls on a Friday which is a typical peak period for the week.

“The most concerning impact in the short run is excessive wait times at the terminal operators, leading to shipments missing their planned flights as the shipments which are not from RACA or known consignors will [need to] be pre-screened,” he said.

“Our terminal operator has published an additional 3 hours in lodge-in times but a lot of us are anticipating a longer lead time would be required.”

Jenkin predicted a 24-hour delay at terminals, while Australian aircraft service group, Menzies Aviation cite an additional six-hour allowance for the new screening process.


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

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Hort Connections 2019

AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited (PMA A-NZ) have again united to deliver the joint industry conference and Trade Show, Hort Connections 2019.

Hort Connections 2019 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 24–26 June 2019. Members in the horticulture industry will be inspired to aim high, with the theme ‘Growing our Food Future’ headlining the conference. The event will cater to buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and floral supply chain including seed companies, growers, packers, processors, shippers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and retailers, foodservice, associated suppliers to the industry,
and many more.

Following on from the successful Hort Connections 2018 in Brisbane, this year’s event is set to become the most influential space for networking, education and business for the entire fresh produce industry.

Australian air cargo to be examined at piece level

The move will have costly implications on Australian fresh produce industries shipping by air

From 1 March 2019, the Australian government’s Office of Transport Security is cracking down on security by introducing piece-level examinations for all outbound international cargo shipments.

Currently, piece-level examinations are only standard for Australian cargo destined for the US, however, the requirement will soon be made for all outbound air shipments. That includes all fresh produce.

Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA), said the changes will significantly increase the cost of exporting fresh fruit and vegetables from Australia.

Each individual box of produce will need to be screened by a Regulated Air Cargo Agent, using technology like x-ray, or be physically inspected.

After screening and loading fees, The AHEIA estimates total added costs to the industry at A$0.22/kg (US$0.16) and expects low unit value items like melons and vegetables to suffer most.

Australia currently exports more than 87,000 tonnes of fresh produce annually by air, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country’s total fresh produce exports.

If this figure remains, the total cost increase for the industry predicted by the AHEIA sits at around A$19m (US$14m) annually.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Cost-recovery model dropped

HUGE price hikes for fruit, vegetable, nut and flower exports have been scrapped after the Federal Government caved to pressure from horticulture industries that argued the fees would make overseas trade unfeasible.

The fees were due to come into effect on July 1 and would have over-recovered more than $3.5 million over the next four years.

But a united campaign from eight industry associations — Apple and Pear Australia, Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association, Australian Mango Industry Association, Australian Table Grape Association, AusVeg, Cherry Growers Australia, Citrus Australia and Summerfruit Australia — successfully campaigned for the Federal Government to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new cost-recovery model.

In an email circulated last week the department said it would not be implementing revised cost-recovery arrangements for horticulture exports in 2018-19, and existing fees and charges would remain unchanged.

It will now undertake a full review of the current scheme, with any new changes to take effect from July 1 next year.

Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin said he was elated the industry was able to work together to secure a commitment from the Federal Government to consult more closely with growers and exporters to draw up a new scheme.

“We really have to go back to the drawing board now, conduct a thorough review of the services the department is offering, determine whether those services are indeed relevant to the industry, and whether they’re being efficiently delivered or not,” Mr Jenkin said.

“Then following agreement, to determine the equitable distribution of those costs in accordance with the cost-recovery guidelines.”

Earlier this year the department released a draft outlining new levies for 2018-19, including a doubling of the phytosanitary certificate levy from $38 a document to $78.

It included an increase to the horticultural products levy to non-protocol countries of 160 per cent, from $0.65 to $1.70 a tonne, and to protocol countries from $1.30 to $3.40 a tonne.

Horticulture groups labelled the costs “fundamentally flawed” and were concerned the Federal Government was seeking to recover considerably more than the cost of providing export certification services.

The department had stated in its draft document it would not seek to recoup years of under-recovery. But the forecast opening cost recovery reserve had a negative balance of $3.8 million, and the proposed model would have recaptured this deficit, beginning in 2018-19.

June 27, 2018

Source: https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au


ATMAC phase 2 - Callout to companies that import fresh fruit from China and Vietnam

AHEIA has successfully completed the first phase of the ATMAC project awarded to them by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The project - ‘Bilateral Trade Facilitation through Import Value Chain Development and Capacity Building’, aims to support bilateral trade participation with Vietnam and China.

As a result of phase 1 of the project, AHEIA has produced the following resources:

Exporting Dragonfruit to Australia from Vietnam:

•      Marketing Vietnamese dragon fruit in Australia
       A guide to understanding the market potential for Vietnamese dragon fruit in Australia

•     Tiếp thị thanh long Việt Nam tại Úc
       Một hướng dẫn để hiểu về tiềm năng của thanh long Việt Nam tại thị trường Úc

•     Also available in both languages

Exporting Pears to Australia from China:
•      Exporting Pears to Australia from Hebei, Shaanxi and Shandong Provinces
       Understanding Australia’s import requirements for Pears imported from Hebei, Shaanxi and Shandong Provinces

•      河北、陕西和山东向澳大利亚出口梨

•     Also available in both languages

We seek the participation of members that import fresh fruit from either China or Vietnam to collaborate on Phase 2 of the project:

•      Participants will benefit from a tailored intervention that will identify, and take steps to rectify, deficiencies in postharvest processing, packaging, cold-chain and logistics in the fresh produce value chains to improve product out-turn in Australia.
•      We will be working in partnership with Steritech, the sole provider of phytosanitary irradiation services in the Australian market, who will provide technical support, participate in value chain interventions and contribute their expertise to the process. Please contact AHEIA directly for more information.