Agricultural trade matters provides an overview of what the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Government are doing to support international agricultural trade.
This is the current edition, published October 2017.
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In 2016-17 agriculture was the largest contributor to Australia’s national GDP growth and was the fastest growing economic sector.
During that time Australian agriculture contributed 0.5 percentage points to total national GDP growth of 1.9 per cent. Furthermore, the agricultural sector grew the fastest of 19 industries, up by a formidable 23 per cent.
Agriculture contributed over $50 billion in exports in 2016-17, just under 14 per cent of our total goods and services exports. This is up from $41 billion five years ago.
According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), overall farm exports are estimated to have exceeded $48 billion for 2016-17. Adding to this total are fisheries exports of around $1.4 billion and forestry exports exceeding $3 billion during this period.
Read more about agricultural growth does heavy lifting for the Australian economy in 2016-17…
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, recently said while grains and livestock products each contributed around $10 billion to this export performance, other agricultural industries are also billion dollar performers. For example, in 2016-17 our pulses exports to the world were worth over $3 billion, wine exports $2.4 billion, nuts exports $822 million and citrus over $330 million.
“Australia has seen great growth in produce to markets such as India. India is going nuts for Australia’s nuts with value of almond exports up over 50 per cent for the first half of 2017. Chickpea exports to India increased by almost 90 per cent in 2016-17 to a record value of $1.1 billion,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.
Citing another example of this strong export growth, Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said China has overtaken the US as our most valuable market for wine for the first time ever. Wine exports to China totalled $596 million in 2016-17, a 43 per cent increase on the previous year.
Australia’s trade and investment future in the European Union (EU) is in a strong position ahead of the launch of negotiations of the Australia–EU Free Trade Agreement (Australia–EU FTA).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, recently visited the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy to advocate for Australia’s agriculture interests in the EU.
The Deputy Prime Minister met with senior representatives from the EU and the UK, including the newly appointed UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, and European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Phil Hogan.
The Deputy Prime Minister also got ‘hands on’ at the annual Meat and Livestock Australia BBQ in Brussels to demonstrate the quality of Australian red meat products.
Read more about strengthening Australian agriculture and trade in Europe…
Finally, the Deputy Prime Minister was the first Australian Minister since 2009 to represent Australia at the opening day of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization Conference, delivering the response to the Frank McDougall Memorial Lecture.
The EU is a high value market for Australia’s agricultural produce, with capacity for growth.
In 2016, the EU was Australia’s sixth largest agricultural export destination, valued at $3.2 billion. In the same year, canola ($1.1 billion), wine ($570 million) and red meat ($402 million) headlined our agricultural exports to the EU.
A comprehensive, high-quality Australia-EU FTA will help to ensure the bilateral trade and investment relationship with the EU reaches its full potential.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is encouraging all interested stakeholders to make a submission on the potential opportunities and impacts of an FTA with the EU at Australian-European Union Free Trade Agreement.
The transcript of the Deputy Prime Minister’s response to the Frank McDougall Memorial Lecture is available on page 17 at Food and Agriculturee Organization of the United Nations website.
The Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) grants program continues to provide funding for eligible applicants and approved projects which focus on opening, improving and/or maintaining access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural products by building stronger relationships with trading partners, neighbouring countries and international organisations.
As part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper’s initiative on accessing premium markets, the ATMAC program has provided in excess of $2.5 million in grants for a broad range of projects that directly support the development of cooperation activities.
Many of Australia’s trading partners regard cooperation as an important part of maintaining strong bilateral relationships. Cooperation can result in real gains in access and improved farmgate and exporter returns.
Read more about funding for ATMAC grants to assist international market access…
To be eligible for funding under the program, individual applicants or organisations must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be capable of entering into a legally binding agreement with the Australian Government.
Activities that are likely to meet the program objective and attract funding include research and development projects, training programs, delegation visits and attendance at conferences and workshops.
As funding in 2018-19 has been fully allocated, your project must be able to be completed before 27 June 2018. Please submit your application as soon as possible to allow time to process your application and implement your project BEFORE the end of the 2017-18 financial year.
Program application form, guidelines, examples of the types of projects that are making an impact on agricultural trade and market access and a full list of approved projects can all be accessed at Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation program.
Australian blueberries were showcased for the first time at the 2017 Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) since the Australian Government secured market access for blueberry farmers to India in October 2015.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, hosted the ABWI Gala Dinner in Delhi where over 300 guests, including leaders in the food industry, enjoyed Australia’s best berries.
“Australia Business Week in India was a great opportunity to promote Australian agricultural produce, especially the blueberry industry, with delegates from the industry on the ground to promote the best Australia has to offer,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
In India, Minister Hartsuyker was joined by Mid North Coast local Mr Kamaldeep Singh Clair, Chief Executive Officer, OzGroup Co-op Limited, who attended the week to explore opportunities for blueberry trade into India.
Read more about Australia's best blueberries on the table in India…
Mr Clair agreed and said business weeks such as ABWI are so important to continue to promote trading opportunities for Australian blueberries.
“It was great to be on the ground in Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai to research the market, explore opportunities for trade and establish relationships with key people in the food industry. India has great potential as a market for Australian blueberries.
“As the Australian blueberry industry continues to grow strongly, it is important we look to open new markets for our berries, and also take advantage of existing markets,” Mr Clair said.
According to latest industry figures there are over 265 farm businesses across Australia, producing over 10,510 tonnes of blueberries in 2016–17, with total production valued at $240 million at the farm gate.
While in India, Minister Hartsuyker met with the Indian Minister for Food Processing Industries, Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who said blueberries are in demand, however she found it hard to find them in stores.
Minister Badal was gifted punnets of Australian blueberries which she was delighted to receive.
Minister Hartsuyker said that by the reaction to the high-quality Aussie produce across the week, at both dinners and by Minister Badal, there will be a lot of interest in developing a strong consumer base in India.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources continues to make important strides towards improving Australia’s agricultural export laws.
The Exposure Draft Export Control Bill and Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) were released for public comment on 25 August 2017.
Stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on the draft Bill and RIS.
Head of the Export Legislation Taskforce, Ann McDonald, said the opening of the submissions process was being supported by a series of public consultation activities across the country and internationally.
“Targeted consultations on the improvements have been long running, commencing with the Agricultural Export Review in 2015,” Ms McDonald said.
Read more about have your say on moves to improve Australia's agricultural export laws…
“This submission process marks an important step in the process—it’s an opportunity for us to engage more broadly with our stakeholders and to hear their views. “
Consultation activities have occurred through a range of channels, including one-on-one meetings with industry and peak bodies and public information sessions in capital cities across Australia, as well as the key regional centres of Albury and Cairns.
The taskforce has also been working closely with state and territory governments and relevant Australian government agencies.
Ensuring this process has no negative effect on trade is a top priority. The taskforce has been consulting with trading partners throughout this process, including in-country meetings with trading partners, a presence in bilateral and multi-lateral sessions and hosting an embassy briefing.
“We will continue to engage industry and trading partners in the process of improving export legislation to ensure any potential issues are identified, so that trade is not impacted as a result of these improvements,” Ms McDonald said.
The improved framework aims to make it easier for exporters to understand, and for the department to administer measures to maintain Australia’s reputation as a reliable, high-quality source of exports for our trading partners.
The improved legislative framework will be implemented before 1 April 2020, when the existing legislation ceases.
The strong agricultural relationship between Australia and Vietnam was in the spotlight during a visit to Vietnam in August by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston.
The visit provided an opportunity to further develop trade opportunities between the two countries, including the announcement of market access for Australian cherries and Vietnamese dragon fruit. As an outcome, export conditions were agreed for cherries and dragon fruit.
Senator Ruston said the new trade reflected a bilateral partnership moving from strength to strength. Exports of dragon fruit to Australia have already commenced with cherry exports to Vietnam expected this season.
Read more about fruitful visit to Vietnam by Assistant Minister Ruston…
“This outcome is great news for the Australian cherry industry—access for cherries was our top priority in Vietnam” she said.
Additionally, Senator Ruston strengthened fisheries cooperation with Vietnam by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vietnam’s Standing Vice-Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Ha Cong Tuan.
The MoU outlines the basis for ongoing cooperation between Australia and Vietnam to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Asia Pacific Region.
Senator Ruston and Vice Minister Tuan also welcomed the start of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country study on regional fisheries policies and regulations, which Australia has supported with a financial contribution of $257,000.
While in Vietnam, Senator Ruston attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change and participated on a panel of APEC food security ministers and CEOs discussing sustainable food production and agri-business.
Senator Ruston also undertook multiple bilateral engagements to highlight and strengthen the agricultural relationship between Australia and Vietnam, including releasing the Australia in Vietnam Agriculture Strategy and attending the opening of the Thanh Nhan Abattoir.
The abattoir has been established through Australian industry assistance to demonstrate how modern processing can improve productivity, food safety and animal welfare outcomes.
A new agricultural business forum with China is set to further strengthen Australia’s growing agricultural trade links and encourage new investment and cooperation opportunities. The forum was held as part of the regular Joint Agricultural Commission with China’s Ministry of Agriculture which this year was chaired by the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, and Vice Minister Yu Kangzhen.
In addressing the inaugural Australia-China State-Province Agricultural Business Forum held at Australian Parliament House in September, the Assistant Minister said Australia holds its trade relationship with China in very high regard, and this forum is another example.
The Assistant Minister said the forum brought together key representatives who can foster new agriculture cooperation initiatives and create opportunities for future growth in trade and investment—to the benefit of both countries. In addition to bringing together over 100 agricultural and food business representatives from both Australia and China, the forum also brought together Australian state and territory and Chinese Provincial Governments.
Read more about agricultural forum with China builds on ChAFTA groundwork…
“Australia has a long and proud history of agriculture and food production, with a reputation as a reliable producer of high-quality, clean and safe food for markets around the world, and this forms an important foundation for the China–Australia trading relationship,” said Assistant Minister Hartsuyker.
“The value of our partnership is realised through how well our respective governments work together, and how well our respective industries collaborate,” he said.
China is currently Australia’s largest market for agricultural and food exports worth $10.3 billion in 2016—with major exports of wool, beef, sheep meat, dairy products and grains—and food consumption in China is projected to rise 104 per cent between 2009 and 2050.
“The China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was a significant step forward in our trading relationship, and will only continue to improve the returns that trade delivers our two nations. Since the ChAFTA entered into force, there have been three tariff cuts and these cuts are having a positive effect in supporting strong export growth.
“I hope this inaugural forum provides a new avenue for our industries and our governments to develop closer relationships and business opportunities,” Assistant Minister Hartsuyker said.
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The Australian Government has popped the cork on a three-year plan to increase the value of wine exports to a record $3.5 billion and also promote international wine tourism in regional communities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, recently launched the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (ERWSP) which has been designed through extensive industry consultation to deliver significant and sustainable export growth, and increase international wine tourism.
Australia's wine industry has enjoyed significant growth in recent years on the back of market access gains, with our wine exports forecast to exceed 800 million litres worth $2.5 billion in 2017–18.
This package aims to build on this momentum, delivering up to eight per cent per annum value growth across all export markets to 2021–22, including 15 to 17 per cent growth in China and six per cent in the US.
Read more about pouring investment into growing wine exports and wine tourism…
The package will also help to attract up to 40,000 more international tourists to visit Australia’s world-renowned wine regions and take the great Australian wine tour by 2019-20, delivering an estimated $170 million boost to the economy.
"Our wine industry was already in a strong position, with tariff reductions from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement leading to China overtaking the US as the most valuable destination for Australian wine. This investment is ensuring we will capitalise on this and drive further growth.
"I'm looking forward to the industry taking ownership of it and making it work not only for their benefit and our economy, but also for the regional communities in which many of them operate," Senator Ruston said.
The package includes four distinct programs:
- a more than eight-fold increase in investment for marketing campaigns in the US and China
- building the capability and capacity of grape and wine businesses to capture export and tourism opportunities, including a wine exports grants scheme for current and new exporters to China and the US
- state-based and competitive grants to develop exciting wine tourism experiences and attract international tourists, and
- transforming cider businesses by building knowledge of potential export markets and developing improved understanding for accessing these markets.
Australian Vignerons, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Australia have worked in consultation with the Australian wine sector to develop the business plan for the ERWSP, which will be managed by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.
For further information, visit Export and Regional Wine Support Package
Australia exports over $1 billion of barley to China each year. To maintain this market it is important for Australia’s exports to meet China’s requirements.
As part of our commitment to maintain export excellence, Australia recently hosted a delegation of six Chinese grain experts to observe our grain management systems and allay concerns regarding the level of snails and other contaminants found in Australian grain shipments to China.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, along with a representative from the Grain Industry Market Access Forum, travelled with the Chinese delegation through Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales showcasing Australia’s implementation of the Industry Management Plan to supply wheat and barley to the Chinese market.
During the 10-day visit, the department and grain industry showcased the close collaboration of the Australian and state governments, research organisations, industry associations, exporters and farmers, each demonstrating their roles in implementing the plan across the entire grain pathway to meet China’s quarantine requirements.
Read more about snail management strategies on show to Chinese delegation…
The Chinese experts saw firsthand the efforts of researchers in laboratories and the innovative measures being used in the field to detect and monitor the movement of snails.
Farmers then demonstrated how integrated pest management techniques were reducing snails in the crops while grain terminal operators showed how grain was specially selected for China’s purposes during receival processes.
Authorised Officers at bulk terminals and container loading facilities also showed the delegation how grain is inspected to ensure the grain meets both Australian Government standards and China’s requirements.
The Chinese delegation acknowledged the extensive work in Australia across all aspects of the supply chain to manage snails and prepare quality grain for China.They thanked all Australian participants who contributed to an informative and enjoyable visit. Australia committed to collect quantitative data to demonstrate the impact of Australia’s efforts in snail management across the country. The department and the Chinese delegates agreed to continue collaborative efforts to focus on grain inspection for Chinese markets.
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BICON – Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions database
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