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B2004/21 - FTA deal for macadamias and avocados could see Gympie go nuts

Nationals Senate Leader, Ron Boswell, said today that Gympie nut and avocado growers were set to benefit from better US market access under the proposed Free Trade Agreement announced this week.
“Gympie is the home of the macadamia nut and local growers are in the box-seat for reaping the export benefits of the FTA,” Senator Boswell said.

“Macadamia exporters will have the opportunity to access a full and immediate 5 cent per kilo tariff cut on shipments of fresh macadamias to the US, and will benefit from a phasing-out over three years of the current 17.9% tariff on processed nuts,” he said.

Senator Boswell said that Suncoast Gold Macadamias already exports to the US, and employs around 150 people in its Gympie-based factory.

“Suncoast Gold is a successful cooperative enterprise, sharing profits with the local nut growers that hold shares in the company.”

“With some further effective marketing of the product in the US to lift demand higher, the FTA could provide huge opportunities for expansion of nut farming and processing operations, and more employment in Gympie,” Senator Boswell said.

“For Gympie’s avocado growers, the FTA also provides positive opportunities now and in the future.”

“With the ratification of the FTA, Australian avocados will for the first time have quota access to the US market, with immediate access for 4000 tonnes per year, increasing at a rate of 10% per annum. Out of quota tariffs will be phased out over 18 years.”

“Gympie’s avocado growers will welcome this initial move to enable exporting of Australian avocados to the US, and will join with local nut growers in working to find the best way to take advantage of new FTA arrangements,” Senator Boswell said.


Media Contact - Paul Leven 07 3001 8150