Chefs highlight impact of cruise shutdown on Australian food suppliers

Culinary experts have highlighted the impact of the cruise suspension on Australian meat producers, some of the many local businesses suffering multi-billion-dollar losses while cruise ships remain at anchor.

Meat & Livestock Australia Corporate Chef Sam Burke and P&O Cruises Australia Corporate Executive Chef Uwe Stiefel are the latest subjects of the #WeAreCruise video series produced by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, which tells the stories of Australians affected by the suspension of cruise operations.

In a video released today, Mr Burke says as much as 2.5 tonnes of Australian red meat is ordinarily purchased for a three-day cruise.

“As you can imagine, that’s a significant volume for the industry,” Mr Burke said. “We’re all waiting in anticipation for the cruise ships to return, because that will drive more volume through those channels and then assist the economy.”

Mr Stiefel highlighted the losses being suffered by Australian food producers while cruise tourism was on hold.

“We use anything from 1000 to 1500 tonnes of red meat annually,” Mr Stiefel said. “They’re massive volumes and everything is locally grown and locally made. Many of the farmers, manufacturers and producers have lost a lot of their business.”

CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said cruise lines had committed to extensive new health measures in response to COVID-19, and that it was now vital to plan for a phased and carefully controlled resumption of local cruising.

“Cruising ordinarily contributes more than $5 billion a year to the Australian economy and supports more than 18,000 jobs,” Mr Katz said. “These jobs are all at risk, so it’s vital that we plan a pathway towards resumption with extensive health measures in place, so that we can restore economic opportunities to regional areas and other communities around our coasts.”

The new video can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook.

For more information on the cruise industry’s new health measures, visit CLIA Australasia.

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