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China agrees to Tasmanian apple exports

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Tasmania is now able to export its apples to China as a result of changes to China’s quarantine conditions. The new agreement lifts China’s previous requirement to carry out surveys for European canker and fire blight, two diseases of quarantine concern to China that are not present in Tasmania or the rest of Australia. The changes also indicate China’s recognition of Tasmania’s success in identifying and managing pests that can affect the health and transportation of the apples. The amended protocol was a boost for Australia’s apple industry, and Australia’s trade relationship with China, according to the Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke. "These new quarantine conditions are a tremendous boost for our important horticultural industry and I commend the Australian and Chinese authorities for reviewing the agreement which now allows Tasmanian growers to access the Chinese market under workable protocol requirements," he said. "Strong exports are critical for the future of Australia (and) improved access for Tasmanian apples is great news for the industry, and opens up various niche markets throughout China." The agreement signifies another step in expanding and growing Australia’s large horticultural industry, asserted Burke. "The total value of Australian horticulture exports consisting of fresh and processed fruit, nuts and vegetables was $1.29 billion in 2008/09." Australia’s next horticultural sector access priority to China is summer fruits, grapes, cherries and apples from mainland Australia.

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