AUSTRALIAN horticultural exporters to Vietnam now have access to a Victorian irradiation facility, which will increase speed to market and decrease export freight costs.
In some cases, Australian fruit will be arriving in Vietnam just 72 hours after picking.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said Vietnam had provided interim approval to receive produce from Australia's newly established Merrifield, Melbourne, irradiation treatment facility.
"This will enable increased trade of table grapes and cherries and reduce transport costs for producers in southern Australia," Mr Littleproud said.
"Vietnam already receives produce from the Brisbane treatment facility and Australian farmers have exported over 10,000 tonnes of premium fresh produce, since its approval in 2016.
"Approval to receive produce from Melbourne opens up more market access opportunities for growers in a key emerging market."
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Mr Littleproud said it also supported Australia's ambitions to grow bilateral trade in horticulture commodities.
"Vietnam and Australia have worked closely to expand the use of irradiation as an effective and safe biosecurity treatment," he said.
"Irradiation is becoming a preferred treatment for many exporters due to its speed, capacity and ability to maintain the quality of product.
"It is a chemical-free and heat-free process helping Australia continue to deliver sustainable, safe fresh produce. "
The treatment helps maintain shelf life and quality of fresh produce by replacing existing cold and fumigant-based treatments.
In 2019-20 Australia exported $142.2 million of horticulture to Vietnam, including $39 million of table grapes and $10.8m of cherries.
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