FORREST MHR Nola Marino has revealed the Federal Government is standing up for South West wineries by lodging a complaint with the World Trade Organisation against Canada.
On January, 12 the Federal Government launched a formal action with the organisation, based on concerns raised by Australia’s peak wine body about Canada’s import regulations.
“I’ll be working with the Minister for Trade Steven Ciobo on behalf of our local wineries that export to Canada,” Mrs Marino said.
“The Canadian market is an important one to the South West, I do not want to see these measures disadvantage our wine producers exporting to Canada.”
Mrs Marino said the current trade deal was “vital” to the region’s jobs and economic growth.
“According to Wine Australia, 174,000 litres of Margaret River wine with an FOB value of over $2.1 million was exported to Canada in the year ending September 2017,” Mrs Marino said.
More than 20 South West wineries export to Canada and a number of Australian winemakers also source wine from the region which is then exported to Canada before bottling.
Geographe Wine Region president Simon Holthouse said many smaller producers were prevented from entering the Canadian market because of the country’s strict regulations.
“It’s a combination of levies and red tape that makes Canada such a difficult export destination,” Mr Holthouse said.
“And those restrictions feed back into the US market.” He said although North America was a major export market for WA, many producers from the South West were small and did not have the resources to break into this market.
“There are not a lot of producers who operate at a scale where they can export to Canada,” he said.
While acknowledging it was too early to tell how the formal action would affect exports, Mr Holthouse said any opportunity to improve access to the Canadian market would be welcomed.
“Any opportunity to improve access to the Canadian market is obviously good for local producers.” Any opportunity to improve access to the Canadian market is obviously good for local producers.
Source: Harvey-Waroona Reporter.