A recent decision by Kenya's quarantine authorities will save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for Australian wheat growers, AWB's General Manager International Sales and Marketing, Michael Long said today.
Following a trip to Australia, Kenyan officials have approved AWB's quality assurance measures and quarantine controls exercised in Australia, and as a result, no longer require Australian wheat to be fumigated before shipment to Kenya.
Mr Long said previously all wheat exports into Kenya were required to be fumigated immediately prior to loading in order to meet quarantine protocols.
"Now Kenyan officials have provided AWB with an exemption, it will mean an immediate saving of about $1US per tonne on the cost of delivering Australian wheat into Kenya, Mr Long said.
"On recent years' sales alone to Kenya, this would have represented, on average, over $US250,000," Mr Long said.
"Australia is the only grain exporter to have gained this exemption, and it proves our system is among the best in the world," Mr Long said.
The decision to exempt Australia from fumigation requirements followed the visit to Australia by two high level Kenyan Government representatives. In June 2002, AWB invited the Managing Directors’ of both the Kenyan Bureau of Standards and the Kenyan Plant Health Inspectorate Service to Australia to inspect wheat segregation and quarantine facilities.
AWB organised and hosted the Kenyan officials on visits to AWB grain centres, wheat farms, grain shipping terminals, the Victorian Institute of Dryland Agriculture and AWB's Agrifood laboratories as well as arranging a series of meetings with AQIS officers in Canberra.
Mr Long said the relatively small cost of bringing two officials from Kenya to Australia had proved extremely cost effective when compared to the annual ongoing savings which will now be achieved.
"The Kenyan delegation was just one of AWB's ongoing program of visits from international customers which all contribute to increasing sales of Australian wheat," Mr Long said.