Vietnam approval of new Australian biosecurity facility bears fruit for growers

16 February 2021
  • Vietnam to receive produce from new Melbourne irradiation facility 

Australian horticultural exporters to Vietnam now have access to two onshore irradiation facilities which will increase speed to market and decrease export freight costs for farmers in southern growing regions.

In some cases, Australian fruit will be arriving in Vietnam just 72hrs after picking. 

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Vietnam has provided interim approval to receive produce from Australia’s newly established Merrifield irradiation treatment facility in Melbourne.

“This will enable increased trade of table grapes and cherries and reduce transport costs for producers in southern Australia,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Vietnam already receives produce from the Brisbane treatment facility and Australian farmers have exported over 10,000 tonnes of premium fresh produce to Vietnam through the Brisbane facility since its approval in 2016.

“Approval to receive produce from Melbourne opens up more market access opportunities for growers in a key emerging market.

“It also supports our 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.

“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. 

“Vietnam is a very important trading partner for Australia.

“Our bilateral and agricultural trade relationship has been built over many years and reflects the important trade in agricultural goods, as well as our valuable bilateral cooperation.”

Fast Facts

  • In Australia phytosanitary irradiation is used to prevent the spread of pests like fruit fly.
  • The same treatment technology plays other important roles including protecting the Australian honey bee population from pests and disease. 
  • 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 $10.8 million of cherries.