The Australian Government is investing $15 million over four years under the Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative (GALI) to step up Australia’s leadership in international agriculture and food policy discussions.
This increased effort will enhance Australia’s global reputation and leadership on agricultural trade. It will lift our engagement and influence in multilateral institutions and strengthen relationships with key likeminded partners.
Australian agriculture interests are impacted significantly by international developments. This includes global policy debates on issues such as agriculture sustainability, anti-microbial resistance and animal welfare.
Special Representative for Australian Agriculture - Su McCluskey
As the first Special Representative for Australian Agriculture, Su McCluskey works to promote the sector through the Australian Government’s Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative.
Su brings a depth of knowledge to the role as a Director of Australian Unity, Foundation for Young Australians, Australian Pork Research Institute, Australian Wool Network Pty Ltd and as a Commissioner for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Previously Su was the CEO of the Regional Australia Institute and the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations, and the Executive Director of the Office of Best Practice Regulation. She has held senior positions with the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Taxation Office.
When she isn’t working to promote and enhance the agricultural sector, Su runs a beef cattle farm in Yass, New South Wales.
The Special Representative will:
- amplify existing efforts to protect global rules and norms
- enhance Australian engagement in key international agriculture and food standards organisations
- engage internationally and domestically and provide a visible face for our efforts to support the rules-based order of global co-operation. This is a key factor in growing Australian agricultural trade.
- work with Australian agricultural industries and promote Australia’s systems to influence global rules, norms and policy. This will strengthen our engagement at a time where trade in agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges.
Enhanced engagement in international standards organisations
Globally agreed animal, plant and food health standards underpin Australia’s agriculture trade. International standards, using science-based decision making, are the cornerstone of international production and trade. Australia invests significant time and resources to influence and develop international standards that represent Australia’s interest. This allows agricultural industries to operate with confidence.
GALI will boost Australian expertise and input to key standard setting bodies, including Codex, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
In early August, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, met with Ms Su McCluskey to discuss her role as Special Representative for Australian Agriculture.
Ms McCluskey shared insights into the challenges and opportunities for agriculture trade, including the growing demand from trading partners for sustainability credentials. They also discussed the importance of international standards, science-based decision making, and the opportunity for greater leadership by Australia in global discussions on agriculture’s response to climate change and contribution to sustainable production.
Since being appointed as the first Special Representative for Australian Agriculture in November 2021, Su has met with a diverse range of government officials and industry in Australia and abroad. Through her engagement with Australian industry and international colleagues, Su has supported Australia’s commitment to the rules-based multilateral trade system and to sustainable agriculture. She has also reinforced the importance of research, innovation and adoption and that there is no one-size-fits-all prescriptive approach to sustainable agriculture—we need to encourage practices that are tailored to the ecological, cultural and economic conditions of each economy.
Su has built relationships with like-minded partners in Europe, the US, New Zealand, South America, Japan and Singapore. She has also had the opportunity to promote and share some of the great Australian research and extension work being undertaken, through virtual platforms and fora.
The connections Su has formed will help us to partner with those who share Australia’s vision for practical sustainable agriculture, that allows farmers to innovate and expand their business without regulatory burden.
Through her role Su has also been able to highlight how agriculture production can positively contribute to global environment goals while still allowing free and open trade to ensure food security.