Workabeba (Abby) Yigzaw (301) 851-4096
Suzanne Bond, (301) 851-4070
USDA Expands Australian Market for Stone Fruits
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that peaches and nectarines from California and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are now allowed entry into all Australian States.
“The first shipments of peaches and nectarines from California successfully landed in Australia, passed inspection, and are on their way to markets for Australian consumers to enjoy,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This success comes after several years of negotiations with the Australian government at all levels – from U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich to USDA staff from APHIS and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). In addition, U.S. growers used funds, including FAS’ Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops provided funding, to research ways to resolve some of the technical issues.”
On July 19, Australia published import conditions for market access of peaches and nectarines from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to all Australian States.
Australia is the 7th largest market for U.S. fresh fruit exports, which were valued at $113.2 million in 2012. U.S. worldwide exports of fresh peaches and nectarines reached $173.3 million in 2012, which is about 3.5 percent of the $4.9 billion worth of fruit exported worldwide in that same year.
The Obama Administration, with Vilsack's leadership, has significantly expanded export opportunities and reduced barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels. U.S. agriculture is now experiencing its best period in history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers and agribusinesses. Today, net farm income is at record levels while debt has been halved since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
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