Challenges for fresh produce in UK Australia trade deal

Yesterday marked the 'agreement in principle' of a historic trade deal between the United Kingdom and Australia.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values.

“This is global Britain at its best – looking outwards and striking deals that deepen our alliances and help ensure every part of the country builds back better from the pandemic.”

However, John Baker, COO of Produce Marketing Australia said in an interview with FPJ that “Bilateral trade in fresh fruit and veg between the UK and Australia is a complete non-starter.

“For most counter-seasonal fruits going to the UK, other Southern Hemisphere suppliers, such as South Africa, Chile and New Zealand, already have the market covered," he explained.

"For UK exporters, we are already well served by other Northern Hemisphere countries in our off-season. Plus, the UK will have the additional challenge of satisfying Australia’s very rigorous and time-sapping quarantine requirements.

“The situation is probably even more challenging for UK vegetables,” he continued, “especially as Australia has a range of climates conducive to growing most vegetables throughout the year.”