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Address at the launch of the Chemical Residue Management Plan for Horticulture and the Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Melbourne

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BPgB Australian Department of Primary Industries & Energy Senator The Hon Judith Troeth Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries and Energy

Address at the launch of the Chemical Residue Management Plan for Horticulture and the Horticultural Statistics Handbook,

Melbourne, Victoria, 29 May 1998

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am indeed pleased to have the opportunity today to launch the chemical residue management plan for horticulture and the horticultural statistics handbook and I'd like to thank our guests for coming.

As you will be aware, as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, I have responsibility for horticultural issues, as well as agricultural and veterinary chemicals, R&D management and levies on primary industries.

In 1996-97, Australian horticulture had a gross value of production of around $4.4 billion, ranking it third behind the grain and meat industries.

Total export value for fresh and processed horticultural produce in 1996-97 was almost $1.2 billion.

Early in its development, the Horticulture 2000 Group identified chemical residues as a matter with the potential to impede the sustainable development, international competitiveness and export growth of horticultural industries.

A sub-committee was established to consider ways in which horticultural industries could minimise exposure to chemical residue contraventions and manage incidences if they occur.

Members of the sub-committee are:

• Mr Bob Granger (Chairman and tropical fruit representative);

• Mr Jon Durham (temperate fruit representative);

• Mr Terry Hill (representing Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand); and

• Mr James McGeoch (Chairman, Horticultural Research and Development Corporation) - and of course Bob and Jon are happy to be here.

On the recommendation of the sub-committee, the Horticulture 2000 Group agreed a residue management plan should be prepared as a blueprint for application by individual industries.

A workshop of participants from the horticulture and chemical industries was held to develop the plan.

Arising from that workshop this Chemical Residue Management Plan fo r Horticulture industries has been developed.

The Plan identifies where residue problems can occur through the supply chain, suggests actions to prevent chemical residue contamination and proposes strategies to manage any incidents.

As Chairman of the Horticulture 2000 Group, I encourage all horticultural industries to use this generic Plan to develop commodity specific chemical residue plans tailored to the circumstances of individual industries.

I am also pleased to be able to launch the 1997/98 Horticultural Statistics Handbook, a publication of the Australian Horticultural Corporation.

The Handbook is an excellent reference guide to the horticulture industry.

It is important the industry has available to it factual information which can be used as a basis for forecasting future 08/10/1998

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crop yields and changes in industry structure.

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It is pleasing to see in the Handbook that per capita consumption of fruit and vegetables is increasing in Australia as are our exports of fruit and vegetables.

Not so pleasing are indications that fruit imports are increasing, albeit from a very small base. An important issue facing the industry is to meet the challenge faced by imported horticultural produce by developing strategies such as improving quality, developing niche varieties and ensuring food safety.

I commend both these publications to those involved with horticultural industries.

They are invaluable source documents for the future development and growth of horticulture.

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