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Cherry Panel

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The Ministers for Agriculture and Manufacturing

Industry, Senator Ken Wriedt and Mr. Kep Enderby, announced today that the Government had approved the formation of a

Cherry Panel which would provide a focal point for

co-operation between the various sectors of the cherry

industry and for liaison with the Government on matters

affecting the industry's welfare.

The Panel would consist of representatives of

growers, processors and the Australian Departments of Agriculture and Manufacturing Industry.

The Ministers said that the establishment of a permanent Cherry Panel had been recommended in the report

of the Government/Industry Panel on Cherries which had been

presented to the Government on 28 June, 1974. .

The Government/Industry Panel on Cherries had been

set up by the Government last year as a special arrangement

specifically to examine the practicability of implementing suggestions for reducing the costs of production of brined and drained cherries, put forward by the Tariff Board when

it recommended a reduction in tariff protection for brining

and draining operations in Australia.

The Tariff Board had recommended the phasing out

of temporary duties on imports of brined cherries and the

gradual reduction of duties on imports of drained cherries.

Its recommendations were based on the view that if certain

adjustments could be made in the industry, the reduction in

costs would enable the continuation of brining and draining

operations in Australia under the lower levels of protection


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In accepting the Tariff Board's recommendations,

the Government had asked the Panel to report its finding

before the first scheduled reduction in tariffs on

1 July, 1974.

The Government/Industry Panel had examined the Tariff

Board's suggestions in considerable detail and had concluded

that there was only very limited scope for implementing them.

It considered, however, that because of the relatively

buoyant world market situation for cherries, which was

expected to continue through 1974, no immediate adverse effects were likely to result for the industry from the initial tariff reductions.

The Government/Industry Panel believed that full

advantage should be taken of the present relatively ,

favourable marketing position to improve the efficiency and

competitive position of the industry, and that co-operation

between all sectors of the industry to that end was


It considered that considerable benefit had already been derived from closer relationships between

growers, briners and processors since the Panel had been

formed and recommended that a permanent Panel should be

established. This Panel should monitor the import situation;

promote continued co-operation to improve efficiency in the

production and processing of cherries in Australia; and also

provide a forum for the consideration of any matters of

significance to the cherry industry.

The Ministers said that, initially, the composition of the new Cherry Panel would be unchanged from that of the

temporary panel, except that a canner representative would be

added. It would comprise three growers (one from each main

producing State), two briners, two drainers, a canner,

one representative each from the Departments of Agriculture and Manufacturing Industry.

CANBERRA, A.C.T. 11 September, 1974