The Australian Greens are today writing to Trade Minister Craig Emerson asking for an immediate investigation into whether oranges are being dumped into the Australian market at below cost, making it impossible for Australian growers to compete.
“Dumping is bad for growers, bad for jobs and bad for consumers in the long run, and Minister Emerson should immediately investigate if it is going on with $10 boxes of Egyptian oranges being sold in Sydney,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
“Keeping farmers on the land is one of the key challenges for this decade and this century, and ensuring that our trade policies are fair and implemented well is a critical part of that challenge.
“Australian farmers struggle to compete when imports don’t have to meet the same labour and environmental standards – and when products from overseas are dumped at below cost into our market, it becomes utterly unfair.
“There is a long history in Australia of cheap imported orange juice concentrate being brought into the country. Now this is apparently being extended to fresh fruit.
“I am writing to Minister Emerson today to back up the calls from Riverina Citrus for an immediate investigation into whether dumping is going on.”
Greens Senator for NSW, Lee Rhiannon, said “Citrus farmers across NSW and the rest of the nation are already struggling to survive. The dumping of cheap imports only adds to the difficulties they face.
“Free trade must also be fair trade. The government must be vigilant against cases of suspected undercutting to protect food producers and our food security.”