The Australian Department of Agriculture has approved the importation of fresh lychees from Vietnam, reported the Australian press on May 12.
The Australian ABC network said twelve years since it first applied, Vietnam can now export fresh lychees to Australia.
The Department of Agriculture has approved the importation of irradiation treated lychees and will inform Australian importers of the decision.
The announcement comes just in time for Vietnam’s 2015 lychee harvest, which will commence in the next few weeks and last until the middle of July.
Consignments of Vietnamese lychees are permitted to be air or sea freighted to Australia and must be inspected on arrival.
The Vietnamese government is hoping this will be the first of many tropical fruit export options, including mangoes and dragon fruits.
Head of Australia’s Lychee Growers Association Derek Foley from Electra, Queensland, said he is not worried about Vietnamese imports competing with local fruit.
“We’re not against the import of lychees, it won’t clash with our season, which is Christmas (time),” Foley was quoted by ABC as saying that “Australian lychee growers would like to see good quality lychees coming into Australia.”
Australia’s lychee industry is w orth 20 million USD annually; the industry exports irradiated fruit to New Zealand and has recently been granted access to the United States.