$1.2bn in subsidies for Italian canned tomatoes to be investigated

Posted on 20 Jan 2015 by Tim Brown

The Anti-Dumping Commission has launched an investigation into reports that the Italian processed tomato industry received $1.2bn in subsidies from EU from 2010 to 2014 which left Australian producers severely disadvantaged.

SPC Ardmona in Goulbourn, a manufacturer of prepared or preserved tomatoes and originally brought the claims to the Commission’s attention, has welcomed the investigation into alleged dumping of canned tomatoes by two Italian tomato exporters La Doria and Feger di Gerardo Ferraioli.

A previous anti-dumping investigation into Italian canned tomatoes found that 103 of the 105 exporters from Italy were illegally dumping products in Australia. These exporters are now paying dumping duties.

The remaining two Italian canned tomatoes exporters are the subject of the current investigation.

“This investigation is about making the two Italian tomato exporters who escaped duties during the first investigation accountable and it is the right and fair thing to do for Australian food manufacturers,” said SPC Managing Director, Peter Kelly.

“Along with the Commission’s recent anti-dumping reforms, this new investigation signals to our international competitors that Australia is not a soft target for dumping goods.”

SPC has for some time been concerned about illegal practices of international competitors and the need for a level playing field.

“SPC has been very firm about pursuing these inquiries and for the last 12 months has been arguing for improvements to the system that put quality Australian produce at a disadvantage versus dumped imports.

“We want to compete with international manufacturers and producers on a level playing field. This type of affirmative action from the Anti-Dumping Commission is exactly what’s needed to help us do that,” said Mr Kelly.