May 5th 2001


  Buy Issue 2607
Qty:

Articles from this issue:

Cover Story: The facts behind the rural revolt

Editorial: Rescuing the airline industry

Canberra Observed: What a Beazley Government means

Agriculture: Dried fruit industry savaged by deregulation

Text: Straws in the Wind: Our new cultural assimiladoes

The Media: A tale of two murders

National Affairs: Behind Costello's veto of Woodside takeover

Defence: Labor's new Maginot Line

Letter: Defence priority

Comment: Why Australia needs a strong manufacturing base

Globalism: Are trade treaties a Bill of Rights for Big Business?

History: Death in Life

Books promotion page

survey link

FONT SIZE:

Agriculture: Dried fruit industry savaged by deregulation


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, May 5, 2001
The Australian dried fruit industry is facing terminal decline, due to the removal of tariffs on imported dried fruit, together with fierce competition from subsidised producers (like Turkey) which have undercut Australian exports.

Australians are among the largest consumers of dried fruits in the world, with average annual consumption around 1.8 kg per person. Until recently, this was supplied by Australian producers.

However, since the 1980s, successive Federal Governments had reduced protection for the Australian industry, leading to a flood of cheap imports from third-world countries, including Iran, Greece and Turkey.

Whereas Australia was a major exporter of dried fruit, it has been largely replaced by Turkey, as shown in the following table showing the share of imports to various countries from Australia and Turkey in 1995:







Australia
%
Turkey
%
Germany751
UK338
NZ2646
Canada442


A former grower, Len Stevens, told the Sunraysia Daily that the dried vine fruit industry could soon "die without a whimper", if present policies are not reversed.

He said the dismantling of the Australian Dried Fruit Association's marketing and regulatory structures, together with cheap imports, were taking a serious toll on the industry.

Unlike Australia, Turkey makes no bones about what its policies are designed to achieve.

The Turkish Government says, "Turkey has a vast agricultural resource base with significant potential to expand output, particularly through increased crop yields.

"In the past, the government has intervened heavily in its agricultural sector through price supports, input subsidies, import protection, marketing monopolies and export subsidies and taxes.

"To increase food self-sufficiency and rural development, stabilise farmers incomes, provide adequate nutrition and affordable food and promote exports have been adopted among government objectives."

These objectives have been secured through a succession of five-year plans, which have expanded production and rural incomes.

The Turkish Government says that "Production levels are high and Turkish dried sultanas and apricots dominate world markets."

Turkey's sultana exports grew by over 20 per cent between 1990 and 1995.

In response to these pressures, the Australian Dried Fruit Association commissioned a Canberra firm, ACIL Consulting, to review the existing marketing, regulatory and support structures in the dried fruit industry, and make recommendations for change which will enhance the viability of the industry and industry growers, and ensure an industry of sufficient size to be viable.

ACIL's 93-page report makes depressing reading.

It fully endorsed the view that the industry should be deregulated, saying, "both in Australia and overseas, progressive economic liberalisation and globalisation have forced a fundamental reappraisal of the role of government and traditional instruments of intervention and regulation."

It listed the consequences of these policies being reduction in import protection (tariffs); the termination of the Trade Practices Commission exemption allowing domestic price collusion; the end of statutory equalisation between domestic and export markets; fewer restrictions in licensing rules for packers; and higher water prices, which it called "a shift towards full cost recovery in water pricing".

ACIL Consulting recommended the deregulation of the dried fruit industry, in line with what has been done in the sugar and dairy industries, abolition of the single desk for exports, and similar measures.

It reported that during grower meetings held as part of its review, "There were frequent complaints that 'they' [clearly, governments] were not doing enough to help growers."

In a sign of insufferable arrogance, ACIL Consulting, which operates out of modern air-conditioned offices in Canberra, declared that "until and unless references to what 'they' should do are replaced by what 'we' should do, the dried fruit industry will not be successful in solving the problems it confronts."

Its only practical suggestion was that growers should shift out of dried fruits into producing wine grapes.

These recommendations have been largely adopted.




























Join email list

Join e-newsletter list


Your cart has 0 items



Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers



Trending articles

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

COVER STORY QUT discrimination case exposes Human Rights Commission failings

FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse



News and views from around the world

19-year-old homeschooled pro-lifer wins Ontario election by landslide (Lianne Laurence)

Trump makes right choice for education secretary (National Review)

Transgender conformity (Katherine Kersten)

Sex education programs do not reduce teen pregnancy or STI rates (Philippa Taylor)

Photographer who captured Safe Schools founder harassing bystander shuts down business (Frank Chung)

Is the global middle class here to stay? (Samuel Rines)

Donald Trump could end America's new feudalism (Joel Kotkin)

It just got easier to find the perpetrators of Stalin's purges (David Filipov)

Castro's death eradicate bacillus of old-style Marxism (Gerald Warner)

Labor MP Terri Butler in QUT race case apology (Geoff Chambers)



























© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
December 2, 2016, 2:36 pm