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Imported grapes a threat to WA - Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 26 Jul 2013

The Australian Greens are very concerned over the risks posed to WA's grape and wine industry, after the WA Government opened the door to importation of grapes from California.

"Just days after this decision, Californian grapes are in stores. This decision risks the future of our local growers for short-term profits of big retailers," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Our state's remoteness and to date strong biosecurity approach has protected our growers and agriculture. By allowing the importation of grapes, the WA Government is undermining this advantage.
"It's not worth the risk to be importing products that open our state up to such serious threats.

"The Greens believe that the future of our food system, is one that is safe, local, healthy and prosperous, that helps local growers and food processors build their industries in the face of increasing threats, such as biosecurity and climate change.

"On the other hand, the WA Government is clearly willing to put big supermarkets ahead of the future of local industries by allowing the importation of out-of-season products to satisfy large retailers undermining local growers.

"WA has a reputation for quality produce and variety of seasonal products. The Greens are committed to ensuring these assets are protected.

"I'm deeply concerned about the WA Government's approach to biosecurity given this reversal and reduction of resourcing of biosecurity protection. This could seriously threaten our horticulture and agriculture," Senator Siewert concluded.

26 July 2013


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