A report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has assessed the contribution of working holiday makers and workers from the Seasonal Worker Programme to Australian horticulture and found each group offers unique advantages to employers.
"The Australian Industry Group welcomes the decision of a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission to vary the coverage of the Horticulture Award, backdated eight years, to preserve flexible and cost-competitive employment conditions in the horticulture industry. The decision is the outcome of a major case in which the Australian Industry Group strongly opposed a push by the National Union of Workers (NUW) to impose warehousing award conditions on horticulture businesses. The claim would have cost horticultural businesses many millions of dollars a year," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group said.
Increased production levels per farm and higher market prices for produce led to improved income levels for vegetable growers in 2015-16, according to ABARES’ latest vegetable industry survey.
Riverland fruit growers are set to cash in on exports following China’s agreement to a range of protocols enabling greater market access, including recognition of the region’s fruit fly free status.
Adelaide Hills cherry growers are set to cash in on exports following China’s agreement to a range of protocols enabling greater market access.
Australian horticulture producers and exporters received a boost, with Australia and China agreeing to new market access protocols for peaches, plums and apricots and improved access for Australian cherries, table grapes and citrus.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, welcomed news that the first Australian blueberries exported to India are now available in Indian grocery stores. The commencement of exports was supported by the Assistant Minister’s recent trip to India, as part of Australia Business Week in India (ABWI).
Australia and China have agreed to new horticulture market access priorities that will allow future exports of Australian blueberries to China. The inclusion of blueberries on the priority list will progress after the existing access priority of mainland apples.