Carbon tax will hit prawn pricing
CONSUMERS can expect to pay more for farmed Australian prawns and barramundi as a result of the Federal Government's controversial carbon tax, delegates at a national farmers conference in the Far North will be told today.
Alistair Dick, president of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, said the high environmental standards in this country mean the industry would not be able to compete on price against foreign prawn and barramundi farmers.
“Every time we add extra environmental requirements on producers, the cost of production increases and so does the price we have to charge consumers, otherwise, we will go out of business,” Mr Dick said.
Mick Keogh, executive director of Australian Farm Institute, will also address the issue at the 2012 Ridley Prawn and Barramundi Farmers Conference, to be held at the Novotel at Palm Cove today and tomorrow.
Mr Keogh said the institute’s research into the impact of the Federal Government’s carbon policies on Australian wild fishing and aquaculture businesses identified potential cost increases of about 2 per cent for farmed prawns.
“A large component of the cost increase is associated with the relatively high level of electricity used by prawn farmers, due to the need to constantly operate pond aerators, and also due to electricity costs associated with water pumping and refrigeration for coolroom and storage facilities,” Mr Keogh said.
“The second area where cost increases may impact in the future will be increased freight costs associated with shipment and road transport of feed to prawn farms.”
Wild fishing and aquaculture businesses were also expected to incur cost increases as a consequence of Australia’s carbon policies, but they would likely be less than 2 per cent, Mr Keogh said.
Marty Phillips, president of the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association, said any cost increases would impact heavily on land-based aquaculture.
“We are certainly looking at options to reduce our costs and increase our productivity,” he said.
The carbon tax came into effect on July 1.
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