Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 8 March 2000
Page: 14267


Mr Latham asked the Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 6 December 1999:

(1)What has been the growth in (a) pork and (b) citrus exports in both price and volume since June 1998.

(2) What financial assistance has the Government provided to (a) pork producers and (b) the citrus industry since June 1998.


Mr Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1(a) Exports of Australian farmed pork were at record high volumes during the 1998/99 financial year. This trend continued in the four months to October 1999.

Exports for the 1998/99 financial year reached 19,041 tonnes, up 31% on the previous financial year, which were valued at $57.6 million.

In the four months to October 1999, Australia exported 12,935 tonnes, valued at $48.6 million. In comparison with the same period last year (July - October 1998), Australia exported 4,351 tonnes, valued at $14.6 million.

1(b) The total value of citrus exports has increased by approximately 5% since June 1998.

Total Value of Australian Citrus Exports

$A'000

1997/98

1998/99

Oranges

109,962

120,005

Mandarins (plus)

21,228

22,301

Lemons/Limes

5,706

5,554

Grapefruit

222

273

Non-specified

4,274

1,068

Orange juice

15,012

15,000

Citrus juice

1,828

1,747

Total

158,232

165,948

Total Volume of fresh citrus fruit exports

The total volume of citrus fruit exports has decreased 3% since June 1998. The volume figures do not include citrus juice exports.

Tonnes

1997/98

1998/99

Oranges navel

73,406

59,883

Oranges valencia

41,787

52,443

Oranges others

1,837

529

Mandarins (plus)

13,005

16,112

Lemons/Limes

3,805

4,026

Grapefruit

205

238

Non-specified

2,951

996

Total

136,996

134,227

Volume of Citrus Juice Exports

The total volume of citrus juice exports has increased by approximately 17% since 1997-98.

Litres

1997/98

1998/99

Frozen Con Orange

1,236,816

306,431

OJ cont <4.6lt

8,406,090

10,809,997

OJ cont >4.6lt

807,873

895,273

Grapefruit <4.6lt

179,640

526,138

Grapefruit >4.6lt

76,800

89,816

Lemon >4.6lt

107,363

213,160

Lemon <4.6lt

265,759

187,170

Any other Citrus

30,716

104,818

Any other in >4.6lt

71,131

600

Total

11,182,188

13,133,403

2(a)The Government and the pork industry are working in partnership to improve the pork industry's international competitiveness. The Government's Pork Industry Restructure Strategy includes a $24 million integrated package of programs to assist individual enterprises and groups along the supply chain achieve a strong market focus, improve their international competitiveness in the global market, or exit the industry.

The $24 million Pork Industry Restructure Strategy comprises:

the $9 million National Pork Industry Development Program (NPIDP) to fund projects ranging from market research to skills development. The program is designed to improve the industry's international competitiveness and boost export market development;

an $8 million Pigmeat Processing Grants Program (PPGP) to stimulate investment in the processing sector and help address efficiency and productivity problems;

. a national skills enhancement training initiative for pork producers costing $1 million under the FarmBis program known as PorkBiz; and,

. $6 million for financial assistance for non-viable pork producers to exit the industry.

The 1998 Productivity Commission Report into 'Pig and Pigmeat Industries' concluded that there was justification for measures that directly promoted industry restructuring and an export focus while providing assistance to those leaving the industry. While the PPGP targets processors and the NPIDP supports all levels through the supply chain, the $6 million Pork Producers Exit Program (PPEP) and the $1 million PorkBiz initiative focus specifically on producers.

The PPEP is designed to assist the most severely affected pork producers voluntarily exit pork production. Producers who are in financial difficulty, are unable to borrow, and who have decided to exit the industry, can do so with dignity under the PPEP without exhausting all family assets.

The PPEP had, as of October 1999, received approximately 440 enquiries. To date 50 applicants have drawn on $1.9 million in funds from the program. Applications are still being received and will be accepted until 31 May 2000.

The PorkBiz component of the package is targeted at assisting producers improve their business management skills, prepare business plans and develop risk management strategies. Pork Biz awareness forums and promotional meetings with producer groups have been held right across regional Australia between June and November 1999. PorkBiz workshops have also been held in all States to date and some on farm consultations in NSW.

The eligibility requirements of the $9m NPIDP, as detailed in the program guidelines, make it clear that applications are invited from all sectors of the production chain including producers.

2(b) The $8.4m Citrus Market Diversification Program (CMDP) has been the Government's principal vehicle, since 1994, for assisting structural adjustment in the citrus industry. Its main objectives are to provide assistance to facilitate adjustment within and improve the international competitiveness and long term growth prospects for the Australian citrus industry. To this end particular emphasis is placed on measures aimed at increasing exports of fresh fruit and fruit juice as well as import substitution.

Members of the citrus industry, as rural producers, are able to access available funds from generic rural assistance programs such as the Rural Partnership, Exceptional Circumstances and Rural Communities Programs and may have done so, however this has not been included in this analysis.

Total assistance provided through the CMDP from June 1998 to 30 June 1999 was $1,638,102.

This assistance was in the form of the following projects

1998/1999

. $25,000 to NSW Agriculture for efficacy testing of dimethoate and fenthion for citrus.

. $30,000 to NSW Agriculture for testing of food dyes as an alternate to malathion.

. $10,000 for Horticultural Research and Development Corporation (HRDC) to manage joint experiments with Korean officials to facilitate the removal of non tariff barriers applied to Australian citrus exports, this is an additional amount to support the necessity of another visit by a Korean official.

. $115,000 over two years to Minneola Tangelo Grower's Unit Trust to provide a quality control component to support the coordinated marketing of Minneola Tangelos.

. $150,600 over three years to the South Australian Research and Development Institute's Entomology Unit to study the ecology and biology of Microxeromagna vestita, a small snail which is a considerable pest in citrus orchards and a major threat to exports.

. $20,000 in new funds, a transfer of unspent funds (up to $22,000) from the previous grant to NSW Agriculture for TriState Community Awareness and the provision of funds to match industry contributions, up to a maximum of $15,000, to NSW Agriculture for funding a TriState Community Awareness program.

. $27,000 to Australian Citrus Growers (ACG) to develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) template for the citrus industry.

. $95,148 to the Victorian Department of Natural Resources & Environment (Sunraysia Horticulture Centre) to continue research into the movement of Queensland fruit fly into and through the fruit fly exclusion zone for a third year.

. $77,980 to enable the Queensland Horticulture Institute to evaluate pre-harvest bait spraying and post-harvest inspection for tropical and coastal citrus as part of a whole systems approach to reducing chemical use on citrus preharvest bait spraying for citrus.

. $100,694 for an HRDC/South Australia Research and Development Institute (SARDI) study to identify the risk of different species of mealybugs occurring on citrus which can be used to present a case for changing quarantine regulations to improve security of market access to the USA.

. $8,500 from the National Residue Survey (NRS) pilot residue monitoring project for the preparation of information on the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for citrus in Australia's major citrus export markets.

. $19,380 to NSW Agriculture for work on pruning strategies for citrus to produce optimum fruit size for the export fresh fruit market.

. $294,800 over two years for the HRDC to manage a consortium of the Central Queensland University, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and the Queensland Horticultural Institute to undertake development of near infra-red spectroscopy hardware to undertake internal quality based sorting of citrus fruit.

. $209,000 for the first year (1999/00) of a three year appointment of a manager for citrus industry propagation improvement under the management of HRDC.

. $232,000 for the Australian Horticultural Corporation to undertake market research and a communication program for the development of the domestic market.

. $168,000 to the ACG for the first year of a three year appointment of a citrus industry communication development manager.

. $50,000 for Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to facilitate a visit to citrus growing areas by the Korean Director-General of Agriculture and for orchard testing of oranges and lemons to support Australia's application for market access.

. $5,000 for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia to publish and disseminate a brochure outlining the outcomes of the program.