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Funding to assist Tasmanian cherries to take on the world.

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24 October 2007

Funding to assist Tasmanian cherries to take on the world

The Australian Government will provide $250,000 to support a major push by the cherry industry to grow their key export markets, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck announced today.

Senator Colbeck said the funding would allow the Cherry Growers of Australia to examine international consumer needs and identify ways to increase exports.

“This is a boost for the cherry growers of Tasmania,” Senator Colbeck said.

“A major focus of this initiative of the Cherry Growers will be to hold a whole-of-industry forum to look at the needs of the industry as it seeks to open up further export opportunities.

“Australia’s cherry industry is a significant contributor to many regional communities, with production worth more than $60 million a year nationally.

“However, Australian cherry growers, like all farmers, have had to endure the impacts of the worst drought on record.

“In the face of the drought, cherry growers are also struggling to meet the product preferences of many of our key international markets.

“Severe reductions in water allocations, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin, mean the industry may not be able to meet the size specifications normally demanded of cherries by most of Australia's export markets.

“Cherry growers are therefore particularly keen to let their international customers know that despite the drought, the quality and range of cherries remains of a high standard.”

Aaron Oldaker - Electorate/Media Officer Office of Senator The Hon Richard Colbeck Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration Liberal Senator for Tasmania

Phone 03 64245960

Mobile 0408 826 330