The Australian Government is supporting agricultural and fishery exports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, the Australian Government announced the $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) as a temporary measure to help restore critical global supply chains which have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 containment measures.
IFAM has been set up to ensure essential airfreight trade continues, including imports of medicines and medical supplies to Australia. It also provides assistance to maintaining air freight supply chains that help producers of high-value, perishable agricultural and fisheries products supply their international customers on the outbound flights.
The funding comes as part of the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head of strategic trade policy and North Asia, Amy Fox, encouraged exporters of traditionally airfreighted, high-value agriculture and fisheries products to complete an online form, expressing their interest in the mechanism.
“Register your expression of interest and we will keep you up to date on how the mechanism is being developed, including opportunities to access flights supported by IFAM,” Fox said.
‘If you’re considered eligible, we will notify you of next steps so that you can get your products to your established international customers.
‘The details you provide will also help inform decisions for future flight routes and inform analysis of matching airfreight supply to future market need.’
IFAM is a temporary, emergency measure, and does not provide individual funding for exporters or importers, but will be applied across international freight pathways to help restore broken global supply chains.
‘While the mechanism won’t fully offset the increase in freight costs to pre-COVID-19 levels, it will help Australian businesses adapt quickly when the crisis begins to abate.’