SOME fruit growers may face about $100,000 in rising costs due to the introduction of a $23 a tonne carbon tax, the VFF warns.The federation's horticulture group president Sue Finger said even though agriculture won't be included under the tax in its initial form, growers would be hit by rising gas and electricity costs.
"Fruit and vegetable growers must use electricity and gas to operate their packing sheds and coolstores,'' Ms Finger said.
She said quality assurance programs meant fruit has to be stored at particular temperatures and packed to standards.
Modeling suggests a $23 a tonne carbon tax will add 10 per cent to electricity costs and 9 per cent to gas prices.
"We recently surveyed our members and some of the larger growers will face increases of more than $100,000 per annum, while smaller growers still face increases of over $10,000 per annum,'' Mrs Finger said.
"Every additional dollar we lose with this tax is one less dollar farmers can use to reinvest in productivity improvements. This isn't good enough for an industry that produces $1.7 billion of fresh produce each year and supplies Australians with quality fruit and vegetables.''