IFAM offers New Year lifeline to Tasmanian producers

21 September 2020

The Morrison Government’s $350 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism will assist in supporting many Tasmanian producers into the New Year and meet the Chinese New Year demand. 

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said IFAM had been the difference between make or break for many Tasmanian exporters, keeping freight routes and flights operating. 

“Many Tasmanian producers are relying on IFAM, with Tasmanian exports representing 19 per cent of the national grants approved,” Assistant Minister Duniam said. 

“Since Tasmanian salmon was on the first flight supported by our freight assistance in April, around 22,000 tonnes of Tassie seafood and horticulture products have taken to the sky bound for international markets.  

“Tasmanian seafood has continued to be in demand, representing about 80 per cent of all Australian seafood being exported under the program. 

“IFAM has been essential to supporting jobs across the country, as we deal with the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is supporting around 1,500 jobs in regional Tasmania, while around the country about 35,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs are reliant on the airfreight industry.

“As we fast approach a critical export time for seasonal produce including Southern Rock Lobster, cherries and other stone fruits, we are continuing to work together with our primary producers to ensure they have appropriate support into the New Year and the Chinese New Year period.

“It has been a tremendously challenging time for Tasmania’s seafood sector and primary producers, but we stand ready to assist to ensure they can continue to do what they do best.”

The Morrison Government announced $110 million of funding for IFAM in April to assist with exporting fresh, premium produce, with a further $240 million announced in July. 

IFAM has re-established an airfreight network to over 50 locations, with the majority of freight going to New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Qatar, Kuwait & UAE.