Selling apples to Australia

Ever since 1921, Australia has refused to buy apples from New Zealand because some New Zealand apples had a disease called fire blight. This disease is common in North America and Europe but Australia and Japan do not have it and do not want it. The disease comes from bacteria. It kills the flowers of apple, pear and quince trees and the leaves can go black so that the tree looks as if it has been in a fire. It is very hard to get rid of this disease but some varieties of apple like Delicious are more resistant and do not easily get fire blight.

New Zealand believes that fire blight cannot be carried on export apples. We now export some apples to Japan. They are stored at around 2 degrees Celsius for 25 days to kill any bacteria. Then they are washed, polished, wrapped and packed in cardboard boxes.

Now the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said that Australia must allow New Zealand to export our apples to their country. New Zealand believes that apple growers in Australia are more worried about losing business than about fire blight. New Zealand apples are cheaper and we have different varieties like Pacific Rose and Braeburn. Australians eat only six to nine kg of apples per head of population every year whereas New Zealanders eat 18kg a year. New Zealand apple growers say that they could work with Australian apple growers to increase the apple market in Australia.

New Zealand thinks that exporting apples to Australia could bring in $20m a year to our apple growers.

Leave a Reply