Australian exporters reliant on airfreight will continue to have access to key international export markets, thanks to a $240 million funding injection to help keep international freight routes and flights operating.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the $240 million funding injection will extend support, under the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), until the end of the year.
“This temporary measure has provided an export lifeline to thousands of farmers, fishers and other exporters around Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Pasin said.
“With few international passenger flights at present, restoring supply chains has been vital to maintaining relationships between exporters and their customers around the world.”
The temporary program has already helped secure carriage of more than 36,000 tonnes of exports to 50 key international destinations and had also supported the import of critical medical supplies.
“This is about restoring global supply chains. These freight flights have been critical to getting produce out the door during these tough times and helping to keep our exporters in business and connected to their hard-won established global customers”, Mr Pasin 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.
“Keeping our farmers connected with their established international customers will help them keep their operations going so they can keep producing a top quality export product and enhance their reputation as a reliable partner.”
“These flights are crucial to helping ensure Barker’s exporters can remain viable during this time by continuing to get their premium produce to key overseas markets and into the hands of consumers,” said Mr Pasin.
Under IFAM to date Singapore Airlines have run eight weekly Singapore – Adelaide direct flights, whilst Cathay Pacific have already run three Adelaide – Hong Kong flights.
Another seven flights are locked in for the next month, with this funding extension likely to see both flight routes extended, and other possible flight routes across Asia are being explored.
The main produce on the flights to Singapore flights has been: Tuna, abalone, beef, lamb, cheese, milk, and vegetables such as brussel sprouts.
The Hong Kong flights have focussed on live and chilled seafood such as lobster and chilled beef.
For more information on IFAM, visit: www.austrade.gov.au/ifam
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