Victorian Horticulture Set To Flourish Under Labor

Victoria’s horticulture industry has a bright future under the Andrews Labor Government, stakeholders at a leadership forum in Shepparton have heard.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, last night outlined the Labor Government’s plan to grow Victoria’s $2.4 billion horticulture industry at the annual Horticulture Industry Leadership Group forum in Tatura.

The Leadership Group forum followed Ms Pulford meeting with Cobram District Fruit Growers and Kagome Australia earlier on Thursday.

Addressing the forum, Ms Pulford said the Labor Government is boosting exports by reducing barriers to trade and improving access to new markets, while supporting industry-led innovation and research.

The Labor Government is leading the way on horticulture exports, with a Victorian initiated pilot program to improve market access for temperate fruit exports such as apples, pears and cherries to China and Thailand.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget reinforced the Government’s commitment to grow Victoria’s horticulture industry, as the nation’s largest producers of almonds, table grapes and stone fruits by value and volume.

The Budget provided $5.2 million to establish a specialised unit to support trade negotiations and address trade barriers, and $1 million for the Horticulture Innovation Fund to help make the sector more productive, globally competitive and sustainable.

The Labor Government’s inbound trade mission program will further support the industry by giving international buyers seeking quality fresh horticultural produce an opportunity to experience the best Victoria has to offer.

With support from industry, the Labor Government will also showcase Victoria’s quality exports to key international customers via a series of outbound trade missions scheduled throughout 2015.

The Government is also taking action to safeguard Victoria’s horticulture industry, with the development of a new, five year action plan to tackle Queensland fruit fly, due to get underway at a state-wide forum in July.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford

“Victoria accounts for more than half of Australia’s horticulture exports. The sector has a strong future, and we’re supporting it to innovate and create jobs.”

“We’re investing in our horticulture industry to boost exports, so our farmers and growers stay ahead of the game.”

“By ensuring Victorian produce is on tables across our region and the world, we are giving farming families opportunities to grow.”

5 June 2015

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