CHINESE apples may be in Australian supermarkets by the end of this year, prompting fears they may create a price war.But of even greater concern is that imported apples could carry pests and diseases not previously found here.Reports this week said the World Trade Organisation had found against Australia’s ban on New Zealand apples after a 90-year battle. The Chinese may taste success after just a decade.The formal application to import was made in 2000 and the process is nearing completion.An Australian import risk analysis report recommends allowing imports, subject to quarantine conditions. Appeals may be lodged against the advice until May 2.Tony Russell, general manager of Apple and Pear Australia, said yesterday the report would allow imports from all over China but risk analysis had been carried out in only some areas. He said imports should be restricted to provinces that had done pest assessments.One Australia grower is so concerned she has started an online petition, gathering more than 500 signatures in just a week.Lucinda Giblett, a third-generation apple grower at Manjimup in Western Australia, said her main concern was the arrival of new pests and diseases but she was also worried imports would cut her family’s profits.”At the moment we are struggling to get the prices we need to stay afloat.”She was heartened by remarks on the petition showing people wanted locally grown food.”If I can’t stop the imports, I can make a stand for Australian produce, especially local produce, and the clean, green environment it comes from,” she said.The New Zealand apple industry has reassured Australian growers that it wants to help expand the market, not undercut local producers.
Nanjing Night Net