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$200,000 to help citrus get to markets efficiently.

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DAFF07/045PM - 17 April 2007

$200,000 to help citrus get to markets efficiently

The Government will provide $200,000 to support a major citrus industry forum aimed at getting Australian fruit into key markets as efficiently as possible.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the forum would draw on the views of people from across the industry - including the growing, packing, processing, shipping and retail sectors - to identify ways to make the supply chain more efficient.

“Our citrus industry is a significant contributor to many regional communities, with production worth about $335 million a year, and exports in 2006 reaching $163 million,” Mr McGauran said.

“It’s vital that our produce gets to markets - both domestic and overseas - as quickly and cheaply as possible.”

Speaking at the Australian Citrus Growers’ 59th Annual Conference in Renmark, South Australia, Mr McGauran highlighted the opportunities presented by the forum to coordinate the industry’s approach to selling into the domestic and international markets.

“This is an exciting opportunity for all the industry to get together and look at possible improvements that could benefit the industry as a whole,” Mr McGauran said.

“The Government has been working in partnership with the citrus industry for a number of years now and we look forward to continuing that partnership with this new project.

“In an era when produce markets are becoming increasingly competitive, it is essential that all stakeholders work together to shore up the industry’s long-term future.”

The funding will be provided under the Government’s Industry Partnerships Programme’s Action Partnerships initiative, which aims to help industry sectors undertake practical projects of lasting benefit to industry.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520