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Fresh start for South Australia's citrus industry
Agriculture Minister Gail Gago has announced plans to revitalise South Australia’s citrus industry through the creation of a new united representative organisation.
"After listening to growers and both the Citrus Industry Development Board (CIDB) and Citrus Growers South Australia (CGSA), I have decided structural reform is needed to meet current and future challenges," Ms Gago said.
"This will ultimately aim to cut costs to local growers, reduce red tape and ensure a broad-based united voice.
"For many years we have had two organisations working on different aspects of the citrus industry, often in cooperation, sometimes in competition, funded by two separate levies.
"Industry representatives have expressed concerns about duplication and inefficiencies in the industry structures, and the relationship between the state bodies and national organisation.
Earlier last year, former Agriculture Minister Michael O’Brien commissioned former District Court Judge, Mr Alan Moss, to conduct a review into the structure and legislative arrangements that govern the citrus industry.
"Judge Moss spent several months interviewing 62 different stakeholders and reviewing 22 written submissions received from industry representatives," Ms Gago said.
SA’s citrus industry is worth an estimated $357 million, comprising around 400 growers and 20 packing sheds. It is the state’s largest horticultural export crop.
Industry welcomes new direction
The South Australian Citrus Industry Develop-ment Board welcomed the State Government’s announcement on restructuring and reforming the citrus industry.
"We’ve been working closely with the Govern-ment during the review of the State’s citrus industry structure and this effort will continue as we move towards single-body representation," chairman Peter Walker said.
"The Citrus Board has been representing the industry at a state level for decades, and it’s our intention that this restructure establish the most appropriate model for a sustainable and prosperous future for the South Australian citrus industry."
"The Board has engaged with growers, processors, packers and wholesalers throughout the review", he said.
"It is absolutely essential that the Government ensure full participation of the entire supply chain in the transition to a new structure. Growers must receive the best value for their levies.
"We look forward to working with the Govern-ment and the entire citrus industry to deliver an efficient and effective representative structure that works in the best interests of our $350 million industry."
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