More than 5000 tonnes of WA seafood and agricultural produce will be flown to key export markets under a Federal Government subsidy program. WA produce represents about one-fifth of the Australian seafood and farming produce committed for export under the $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism. IFAM started in April to help agricultural industries after normal airfreight capacity was restricted with the grounding of passenger flights because of COVID-19. The 5600 tonnes of produce from WA relates to product that has already flown or is committed to fly before mid-August. WA produce that has been exported or is committed for export by mid-August includes 630 tonnes of seafood (mostly crayfish) to China, 216 tonnes of beef to Bangkok, 1200 tonnes of pork to Hong Kong and Singapore and 1846 tonnes of fresh strawberries to Asia and the Middle East. Western Rock Lobster Council chief executive Matt Taylor said the Federal program had been fundamental to continuing exports of crayfish, as markets in China began to reopen. WA Strawberry Growers Association spokesman Jamie Michael said while grateful to have the financial support, the IFAM was not a silver bullet and logistics were still extremely difficult with fewer flights. “While pre-COVID the strawberry industry may have had 40 tonnes a day going to nine different countries, chartering a plane does not allow for this to happen,” he said.