Potatoes New Zealand has welcomed an Australian Government draft report
which is expected to open the door to the export of fresh potatoes for processing from New Zealand to Australia.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) draft report
proposes that the importation of fresh potatoes for processing into Australia from New Zealand be permitted subject to import conditions.
Potatoes New Zealand Chairman Stuart Wright said that the news was very encouraging for the New Zealand potato industry and it was hoped the Australian market could be open to New Zealand for the 2012-13 season.
“Potatoes New Zealand welcomes the release by the Australia Government of the draft import conditions for fresh potatoes for processing from New Zealand,” said Mr Wright.
“We are pleased that the draft conditions are consistent with other South Pacific country import requirements and reflect the low risk posed by fresh potatoes for processing.”
Australia currently prohibits the import of fresh potatoes for human consumption and for processing from all countries. Prior to 1988, Australia permitted the import of potatoes for processing from New Zealand.
Potatoes New Zealand initiated the request for access in 2006 and has advocated that fresh potatoes imported into Australia for processing into potato crisps and French fries pose negligible biosecurity risk as a result of the processing procedure.
New Zealand’s commercial potato industry is worth $400m, with exports worth $100m. Gaining access to new markets is an important component of the potato industry drive to be a $1 billion dollar industry by 2020.
DAFF will consider all submissions on the draft review of import conditions by 3 September 2012 before finalising the import conditions for fresh potatoes for processing from New Zealand.