Australian agri-exporter in for extra round of Canberra subsidies
AUSTRALIAN for agri-filled freighter flights - but importers face capacity constraints on ocean freight, reports London's Loadstar
AUSTRALIAN for agri-filled freighter flights - but importers face capacity constraints on ocean freight, reports London's Loadstar.
An extra A$240 million (US$166 million) has been earmarked for the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), launched in April after agricultural exporters were left reeling by the sudden elimination of 91 per cent of air cargo capacity.
The grounding of passenger fleets due to coronavirus meant Australia's high-value agricultural exports, such as seafood, premium red meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables and packaged salads, had to fight for space on a limited number of freighter flights.
IFAM started with a A$110 million war chest, and federal trade minister Simon Birmingham revealed the programme had subsidised 36,000 tonnes of exports to 50 international destinations, including lamb from Victoria lifted to the Middle East.
'With international travel restrictions expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future, our exporters and key importers will continue to face significant barriers,' Mr Birmingham said.
'A key feature of IFAM has been the logistical and administrative support for international freight movements by aggregating cargo loads, negotiating with airlines and dealing with partner governments to facilitate clearances and improve transparency of freight costs during the pandemic,' he said.