Improved market access for Aussie potatoes

Improved market access for Aussie potatoes

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Australian potato farmers are enjoying improved access to the Thai market, after two key commitments were realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

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Australian potato farmers are enjoying improved access to the Thai market, after two key commitments were realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Thailand has implemented zero tariffs and the removal of tariff rate quotas that limited the volume that could access the lower TAFTA tariff rate for Australian seed and processing potatoes.

Tariffs for Australian seed and processing potatoes have decreased on an annual basis from 27 per cent in 2005 to zero per cent in 2020 under TAFTA.

Previously, exports of Australian seed and processing potatoes to Thailand were constrained, with a limited volume, just under 115 tons in 2019, able to access the beneficial TAFTA tariffs.

Federal Agriculture Minister - Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the removal of limits was a boost for potato farmers.

"This is an important market access improvement for the Australian potato industry," he said.

"In addition to being exempt from tariffs, Australian farmers can now export seed and processing potatoes at any time of the year.

"This is a fantastic outcome for our producers and exporters who already have well- established relationships with Thai buyers."

Last year, Thailand was Australia's second largest potato export market at $4.6 million in 2019 and with the removal of remaining constraints, this market is expected to grow.

"Our seed potatoes are used by Thai farmers to grow potatoes locally while processing potatoes are used to make products like potato chips," Mr Littleproud said.

Processing potatoes produced in all states are permitted to import into Thailand subject to phytosanitary requirements.

Seed potatoes from SA, Vic and WA are approved by Thailand's Department of Agriculture to be exported to Thailand.

"The Australian Government is committed to working with Thailand to implement our commitments under TAFTA and continue to increase our two-way agricultural trade," Mr Littleproud said.

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