Seafood Industry Australia has welcomed news the Federal Government will extend the International Freight Assistance Mechanism until June 2022.
‘On behalf of our members and the entire Australian seafood industry, Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) would like to thank the Federal Government for extending the IFAM until June 2022,’ SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
‘The $260.9 million extension will allow Australia’s wild-catch fishers and aquaculturists to deliver an estimated $3 billion worth of produce to key international markets including Japan, Singapore and Korea. The IFAM extension will provide market certainty to our exporters who rely on air freight, and will help protect jobs in the wild-caught and aquaculture sectors, and countless more positions downstream in postharvest, freight and beyond.’
The International Freight Assistance Mechanism was first announced in March 2020 it has kept the Australian seafood industry connected to international customers, with Australian seafood exports carried in the cargo holds of commercial aircraft, but with few international passenger flights under COVID-19 restrictions the majority of outbound flights were cancelled which saw the industry’s transport routes disappear.
‘Restoring these supply chains has been vital to industry maintaining relationships with customers around the world, so we can continue to deliver our high-quality Australian seafood to every corner of the globe long after IFAM ends and COVID-19 has passed. The IFAM has provided an export-lifeline to industry nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, without it our industry would not be where we are today,’ Veronica Papacosta said.
‘The Coalition has provided unwavering support for the Australian seafood industry throughout the COVID-19 economic crisis. SIA, on behalf of our members and the entire Australian seafood industry, has extended thanks to the entire Coalition for this extension, for helping to keep Australian seafood businesses and jobs afloat, and our great Australian seafood on the tables right around the world,’ she said.
‘We’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of Seafood Trade Advisory Group, Tassal, and all members of the Australian seafood industry who have worked tirelessly with the government to help secure this support extension.’