Levelling the playing field with Pacific Island horticultural market access

M.F. Brown, A.M. McGregor
Pacific island countries have not been part of the horticultural “revolution” that has driven broadly based growth in other comparable regions (e.g., East Africa). The disappointing performance of Pacific island horticultural exports can be explained by a combination of factors, which include the inability to resolve phyto-sanitary and other market access issues. Two case studies of exports to Australia are examined: Fiji fresh taro and ginger. Both products have market access but it is not economical to ship because of the unreasonable severity of the quarantine protocols in place. The WTO/International Sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) Agreement principles of consistency and equivalence in phyto-sanitary measures and their application, are seen as relevant in these cases. Yet the “tyranny” of unequal size and available resources means there is little likelihood of a small country from the Pacific island countries mounting a successful challenge. The reform of such trade barriers needs to be negotiated in a broader political and economic context. The paper makes recommendations for mechanisms to “level the playing field” to facilitate Pacific island horticulture exports.
Brown, M.F. and McGregor, A.M. (2015). Levelling the playing field with Pacific Island horticultural market access. Acta Hortic. 1105, 295-300
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1105.42
taro, ginger, Australia, Fiji, quarantine

Acta Horticulturae