1 Dec 2008

NZ strawberry growers hope to export to Australia

9:04 am on 1 December 2008

New Zealand strawberry growers are hoping to export their fruit to Australia but they have to break through the quarantine barriers first.

The falling New Zealand dollar has made it viable for the industry to re-establish an export trade to the United States and Canada.

Shipments to Asian markets have also increased this season.

Strawberry Growers New Zealand chair John Greensmith, who is also one of the two biggest exporters, said there is great potential for exporting to Australia if they can meet the conditions.

He said there is an opportunity for New Zealand to provide strawberries during Queensland's off season - late November, December and January.

Mr Greensmith said at that time Queensland can only get supplies from Victoria and western Australia, but the cost of transporting the strawberries is probably higher than it is from New Zealand.

He said one of the difficulties in going to Australia is getting quarantine pre-clearance in New Zealand ensuring the fruit is insect free.