Stink over US onions

27 Oct, 2015 01:00 AM
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4
 
Onions Australia chairperson Kees Versteeg with a bag of US imported onions at the Melbourne Market. Mr Versteeg has called on consumers to buy Australian onions.
Onions Australia has been campaigning for some time to have the imports stopped
Onions Australia chairperson Kees Versteeg with a bag of US imported onions at the Melbourne Market. Mr Versteeg has called on consumers to buy Australian onions.

THE appearance of imported American onions on a wholesale trading floor has prompted the national industry body to repeat its calls for consumers to "buy Australian".

During a tour of the new Melbourne Market last week as part of the Onions Australia annual conference in Melbourne, delegates saw numerous bags of imported onions from the United States.

The Queensland fresh onion season is in full swing and Onions Australia chairperson Kees Versteeg, himself a Queenslander, said the produce is available on supermarket and greengrocer shelves, as well as in the wholesale markets.

“Onions Australia has been campaigning for some time to have the imports stopped,” he said.

“We have undertaken a national education campaign to alert both retailers and consumers that Australia has a plentiful supply of our own locally grown onions.

“Australian onions are grown in the safest conditions, with our growers adhering to the strictest production standards second to none.

“Australian onions are available year round because our growers have worked hard to ensure supply, with Queensland kicking off the season, followed within weeks by the other growing states of Australia.”

According to Mr Versteeg, both Coles and Woolworths have given an undertaking they would not import US onions.

“It has come to our attention that the independent retailers do not adhere to that same agreement and regretfully imported red and white onions have already been detected in the domestic wholesale markets,” he said.

“Onions Australia urges all consumers to ask their retailer exactly where their onions have been sourced from, and to ensure that they are Australian grown.

"If in doubt, ask your retailer to see the outer packaging these onions arrived in."

The industry is expecting a high quality yield this season.

Mr Versteeg reiterated his recent calls for consumers to shun any US imports and buy Australian product.

“Buying Australian grown onions brings peace of mind and knowledge that the product is clean and green, posing no risk to consumers," he said.

"There is no need for US onions to enter Australia, and no need for consumers to purchase them. Supporting your Australian onion growers is all we ask from you.”

Good Fruit & Vegetables
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READER COMMENTS

Peter
27/10/2015 5:49:45 AM

I wonder if this is what the American Cattle producers are saying about the Australian meat sold in their market. Isn't this is what free trade is all about ? As long as there is a level playing field consumers would probably be asking themselves why are Australian onions more expensive at a wholesale level than imported product that includes the cost of freight. If we want to dish it out we have to take it too.
James
28/10/2015 12:52:49 PM

Peter have you heard about Dumping. Excess product being sold below cost in offshore markets so that it doesn't affect their domestic market. I bet Aussie beef is not being sold at a discount in other markets, whereas subsidised farm produce coming out of the us market. Australian growers have to adhere to the strictest regulations in the world and pay a fair wage to workers, it is not always the cheapest produce but I challenge you to find better quality anywhere else in the world.
Geronimo
28/10/2015 1:01:50 PM

What's the price of Australian beef in the US compared to local?
Rob Moore
28/10/2015 5:32:35 PM

Geronimo-I did this exercise just last week with up to the day prices in what they were calling a "collapsed market" Article had a 350kg Angus feeder steer as a base. This was the same week I had exactly that on A+ passed in @$1050. The US steer had "collapsed" to(167c-194c/lb) so take 180c av by 790lb=$1422usd/hd=$1848 aud/hd.. So they could have paid me $1100 & had $750 for sea frt& profit as opposed to buying their OWN. Aust cattlemen& women get treated like mushrooms. After 40yrs -I'm getting out of this thieving livestock Industry at the first opportunity!Its all grief for no reward?!

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