Freight link restored between SA and Asia
More than 30 tonnes of fresh South Australian seafood, meat and other produce is on its way to Asia on the first direct freight service from Adelaide since flights were grounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Singapore Airlines flight, the first of six now scheduled out of SA, is loaded with local products including chilled seafood, tuna, lamb, chicken meat and eggs, as well as wine, cosmetics and mining equipment.
It's expected that once in Singapore the produce will be then be distributed across Asia to markets including Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and China as well as to the US.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the agreement with Singapore Airlines would re-establish a direct freight route for South Australian exporters doing it tough during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We're backing South Australia's farmers and fishers through this agreement that will restore this critical freight route and give exporters a direct line back into key export markets across Asia," Senator Birmingham said.
"Our exporters fight so hard to win contracts in export markets and we want to make sure they can continue to get their products to their customers on time.
"The more South Australian produce, meat, and seafood we can (get) onto these flights and headed overseas, the more local jobs we can secure and the more export dollars we can bring back into South Australia."
Premier Steven Marshall said the freight service would provide a significant boost for local exporters and jobs.
"Today marks a real turning point for South Australia's exporters who have been struggling with the impacts of coronavirus," he said.
"It's fantastic that our local producers now have a clear pathway to supply their fresh premium produce to markets around the world."
Singapore Airlines regional vice president Philip Goh said Wednesday's flight continued the company's long-standing commitment to SA.
"Today's flight is a good first step in supporting South Australian producers and exporters during these difficult times," he said.
The service also allowed for the delivery of urgent medical supplies to Adelaide as well as ship spares, oil-well equipment, aircraft parts and other manufacturing items to support the local economy.
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