FROM PADDOCK TO PLANE TO PLATE

International customers will receive fresh produce faster than ever thanks to the NSW Government’s plans to build international freight airports in regional NSW.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade John Barilaro today said the state government is looking at ways to get high-quality, regional produce to international customers more efficiently.

“We know that air freight is the fastest, most reliable way to move our high-value, perishable exports and that is why we are investigating air freight options in regional areas, so we can get these products from paddock to plate in international markets quicker and easier,” Mr Barilaro said.

“International freight airports will not only improve connectivity and get produce to markets faster, but it will also expand customer bases, and ultimately increase profits and viability for our NSW farmers.

“At a time when farmers continue to struggle through devastating drought, the NSW Government will do everything it can to improve the local economy in regional NSW,” he said.

Produce such as beef, nuts, citrus, berries and dairy products are world-renowned and getting product to market as quickly as possible is essential.

“With a shelf life as low as seven days for many perishable products, the current supply chain sees some farmers having to get their produce on a truck to a major airport, and then wait for a timeslot to get the goods on a plane, which can sometimes take days,” Mr Barilaro said.

“International freight airports would open up opportunities for regional NSW to access higher value markets, and increase profits on some of the best produce in the world, grown right here in regional NSW” he said.

Consultants KPMG have been awarded the tender to complete the pre-feasibility study and will investigate new and existing sites as potential locations for international freight airports.

The study will also explore two-way trade opportunities to maximise profitability and improve services to regional NSW, such as direct parcel delivery. Stakeholder engagement has just begun and a final report with investment recommendations will be delivered mid-2019. he pre-feasibility study is being delivered as part of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.