ORANGE growers believe there will be no rewards in the short-term for producers as a result of the Australian government’s announcement of a trade agreement with Korea until export opportunities and markets in the region can be explored.
“It really is long-term,” said Orange wine producer and head of FOOD Week James Sweetapple.
Horticulturist Peter Darley said the new agreement will need to be thoroughly explored by producers.
“The devil will be in the detail and the benefits for growers I think will still be a long way off,” he said.
A National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) spokesperson has welcomed the agreement that will mean tariffs are reduced on a number of products in the agriculture and food production sector.
Mr Sweetapple said he believes there is currently more interest in exploring the opportunities which exist in China.
“To export you have to be a good business person and look closely at your business structure.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to get involved in export and most growers are already heavily involved in promoting their products domestically,” Mr Sweetapple said.
Mr Darley said following recent discussions with a visiting Chinese agricultural consultant he is convinced there are untapped opportunities in China.
With a burgeoning middle class in the nation and young people leaving the land to live in big cities in China Mr Darley said he has been told there will be a drop in agricultural production in China in the future leaving the door open for more opportunities for Australian export.
“With any export opportunity there are big stumbling blocks to be overcome but I believe we have a government and a Federal Minister for Agriculture [Barnaby Joyce] who are listening to producers at the moment,” he said.
“The Australian dollar at the moment is making things very difficult for producers who export,” Mr Darley said.
David Cumming of Define Wine Marketing and Communications says South Korea is not currently a big market for Australian winemakers wishing to open up new opportunities.
“It is outside the top 20 markets for Australian wine however the removal of the tariff will make it a more appealing market,” Mr Cumming said.
He said developing relationships over a period of time is crucial to the success of new export opportunities.
“Any removal of tariffs on Australian wine into South Korea will have a downward impact on the price of our wines but would certainly help in generating demand,” he said.