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By COLIN BETTLES,
could lose a third of their
income because of imports
from China, New Zealand and the
United States, causing the industry
to lose about $140 million a year.
This dire prediction is contained
in a new independent report pre-
pared by the Centre for International
Economics and released at
The Economic Impact of Apple
Imports from China, New Zealand and
the USA on the Australian Apple
Industry report was commissioned
by Horticulture Australia on behalf
of Apple and Pear Australia Limited.
Its key finding says income
received by Australian applegrowers
will fall 32 per cent in just three
By 2014, the prices received by
growers for their apples were fore-
cast to be 21pc lower and wholesale
prices down 13-14pc.
The report also says imported
apples will secure 22pc market share
in three years, and domestic apple
production will fall by 11pc in three
years, despite apple consumption
increasing by 17pc.
Chairman of APAL Darral Ashton,
said the report clearly outlined the
grim economic outlook faced by
Australian applegrowers in a rapidly
changing policy environment.
"Apple imports will greatly impact
Australian growers, their families
and communities," he said.
"A loss of 32pc of income would
equate to a $140m a year loss
nationally based on last year's crop.
"It's the biggest challenge our
industry has faced since England
joined the Common Market in 1972.
"We will pull out all stops to
increase our competitiveness and to
encourage shoppers to support local
growers by actively choosing to buy
Aussie apples, which are as good as
any in the world."
APAL managing director, Jon
Durham said the report identified
NZ apples as Australia's biggest com-
He said NZ's competitive edge,
already strong because of exchange
rates, had been bolstered further by
Biosecurity Australia's recent deci-
sion to allow its apples into Australia
without quarantine restriction.
"This also effectively surrenders
our border security to NZ interests
and seriously jeopardises our pest
and disease free status, especially in
respect to fire blight," Mr Durham
The report says the Australian
apple industry has been uncompeti-
tive by international standards.
But Mr Durham said the industry
had invested heavily in modern
orchard technology to bring much of
the industry up to world competitive
"Many of our growers would stand
with the best in the world and we
have invested a lot of resources
through our Future Orchards pro-
gram to support the industry take on
major improvements in productivi-
ty," he said.
"Growers have responded well to
the program and we are well on the
way to international competitive-
"However, we still have a big task
ahead of us and we'll need support
as the industry undergoes massive
change to transition to the new era
"As this change was instituted by
government, we feel it's reasonable
to seek assistance from government
to further facilitate and speed up the
rate of change within the industry."
Growers face huge income loss
Threat of disease with imports
Government assistance sought
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