Indonesian mango export laws 'ridiculous': Coast retailer
DAN the Mango Man has slammed a new proposal which will see foreign fruit farmers take on Queensland farmers at their own game.
An agreement between Australia and Indonesia to allow mangoes to be imported is in the works, which will go against Aussie growers while they're in season.
The importation laws have not yet started but the long-time retailer fears for the industry in battling these "cheaper, inferior" imported goods.
Dan Gibbs, aka Dan the Mango Man, called it a "ridiculous" decision which would be a detriment to the growers down to the customers.
He has been serving the Coast delicious Queensland fruit for 22 years, and expects to sell 150 tonnes or seven semi-trailer loads this season.
"If they offer a cheaper product, then families on a budget will go for them," Mr Gibbs said.
"But I don't think the fruit will compare. I've been to the Queensland farms and seen them first-hand.
"All the growers up north are worried. It is a terrible idea. We have enough fruit here."
Indonesia have been pressing the Australian Government to allow importation of Mangos for 25 years and Mr Gibbs questioned why it was allowed now.
He said he would be comfortable with importing the popular fruit, if it didn't hurt Australian businesses.
"We bring over USA oranges, cherries, grapes, but only when it's not in season," he said.
"These will directly conflict with the growing season.
"I deal with the farmers on a weekly basis, I know how hard and how much they struggle.
"For every good year they have three bad ones. We should be helping our own."
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resource MP David Littleproud argued the issue was far more complex.
"Australian farmers rely on exporting their produce overseas, and our exports rely on Australia also receiving imports from overseas in return," Mr Littleproud said.
"If Australia locks the door to imports, other countries retaliate by blocking our exports and the entire Australian agriculture industry falls over.
"Australian farmers export twice as much produce as we sell here on the domestic market.
"News of possible mango imports to Australia is not new - an import risk assessment was completed in 2015 after industry consultation.
"Australian mango growers now have huge opportunities to export to lucrative markets such as China, the US, Japan and Korea, which greatly expands the market for their product and their options when selling."
The Daily understands when the laws are finalised, any decision to import mangoes will be a commercial decision between an importer in Australia and a supplier in Indonesia who can meet the import conditions.