The Australian Greens have expressed concern at the revelation SPC Ardmona plans to slash the amount of locally sourced fruit for this season.
Greens competition spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated, “These events add to the anxiety amongst farmers that our current trade and competition policy is failing them.
“It’s clear many of our fruit growers are facing a crisis and need assistance. It’s heart breaking to hear some have resorted to pulling out their orchards.
“Our farmers feel they are unable to compete without a level playing field and I call on the Minister, Senator Ludwig, to immediately implement the WTO safeguard measures.
“Failing that the Minister needs to detail what help he plans to provide.
“The Greens will shortly be releasing a suite of competition policy reforms that respond to the need to help provide a fair marketplace for our farmers and food processors.
“The Greens will continue to work for our national trade agreements to be transparent and fair, including ensuring that our trading partners must meet the same environmental and labour standards as our local growers.
“Today’s events also highlight the importance of a recent agreement the Greens negotiated with the government to have all future trade deals analysed up front for their impacts on local businesses and economies: http://peter-whish-wilson.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/greens-secure-future-free-trade-agreement-scrutiny
"The Greens have long argued that claims made about the benefits of free trade agreements are often overblown.
“The Parliament will now have the chance to test such claims before negotiations begin thanks to the Greens.”