Tasmania fruit growers say they’re worried about the impact importing fresh strawberries might have on the state.
The growers will take their concern to a meeting in Hobart tomorrow.
Phil Pyke, the business development manager for Fruit Growers Tasmania, said a biosecurity liaison officer would attend the meeting to hear concerns from growers.
The officer has been appointed by the Federal Government to fast track an “import risk analysis” on the South Korean berries.
Mr Pyke said he was uncertain why Asian growers wanted to export their fresh produce into Australia.
“Australia is a nationa that has 12 months of supply of home grown strawberries, so we grow strawberries across this country,” he said.
“We do know that countries, because of Australia’s very stringent biosecurity standards, do try and get access for certain commodities, and use that to negotiate access to other countries.”
The biosecurity officer is meeting growers around the country to get feedback on the process.
The officer will also meet with one of Australia’s largest berry producers, Costa.
“There is concern about the pests and diseases that are across the northern hemisphere, as well as how importing more fresh fruit will affect the local market,” Mr Pyke said.
“I’m interested to hear how the issue of pests and diseases will be handled as we can’t forsake our biosecurity standards at all.”
The Tasmanian growers attending the meeting will be allowed to have their say on the plan to import the fresh fruit from Korea.
Cherry growers will then attend a separate meeting in the afternoon to discuss how the latest season went and to put forward ongoing issues they want resolved.