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Tasmanian cherries set to blossom in Japan.

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DAFF05/062WT - 17 March 2005

Tasmanian cherries set to blossom in Japan

There's good news for Tasmanian fruit growers with the Howard/Anderson Government having gained access for their cherries to be exported to Japan, the Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss announced today.

Mr Truss said Japanese quarantine authorities have issued an official notice approving market access for Tasmanian cherries to Japan.

"This is welcome news for Tasmania's growers who have been seeking access to the Japanese market since 2000.

"Export market access is a key issue for Australia's $50 million cherry industry, which is expanding rapidly, Mr Truss said.

Tasmania should be able to commence exports to Japan in the coming harvest season.

Mr Truss said Australia's later harvest season; from early December through to February, would be good timing for the Japanese market.

"Tasmania has gained access for all varieties of cherries, and exports to Japan will be a welcome boost for the local industry," he said.

Tasmania is free from fruit flies of concern to Japan, but Tasmanian cherries will need to be fumigated to address Japan's quarantine concerns over codling moth.

Mr Truss complimented the Tasmanian cherry industry for working effectively with the Australian and State governments to gain market access to Japan.

"The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will continue to work through the details of the import conditions with Japanese quarantine authorities," he said.

Further media inquiries:

Minister Truss' office: Kylie Butler - 02 6277 7520 or 0417 652 488