PROMOTION of a protocol for the export of Australian slaughter sheep and goats is listed among trade restrictions set to be unlocked by a joint statement signed by Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Wang Yi, today.
Other measures aimed at supporting Australian meat and livestock exports through the agreement include expanding the chilled meat trade and expediting the listing of 15 additional beef and sheepmeat processing establishments eligible to export meat to China.
“China is already Australia’s largest sheep meat market, worth $240 million in 2016, and is our fourth largest beef market worth $670 million in the same year”, Mr Joyce said.
“Together Australia and China are focused on promoting food security and safety and ensuring continued access to safe, high quality and reliable produce.”
The Joint Statement on Enhancing Inspection and Quarantine Cooperation signed by Australia and the People’s Republic of China today will significantly improve two-way agricultural trade between the two countries, a statement from Mr Joyce’s office said.
The agreement is estimated to be worth $400 million per year for Australia’s meat industry and a boost for regional jobs.
Mr Joyce said the joint statement will expand and improve Australia’s meat market access by allowing more meat and live animal exporters access to China and progressing new trade opportunities.
“The Coalition is committed to building on our record prices and record volume of trade with China.
“We won’t ever rest on our laurels in pursuit of expanding Australia’s trading partnerships,” he said.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, said increasing the number of approved meat processing establishments will create more export opportunities for red meat trade with China.
“Australia’s beef exports to China have grown from less than $100 million in 2011 to exceed $600 million in 2016.
“Today’s agreement will enable Australian beef producers to continue meeting China’s growing demand for high-quality beef,” he said.
“This, alongside continued cuts under ChAFTA to the tariffs Australian beef faces in China, will bring further significant benefits for regional Australia and employment in the red meat industry.”
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt said the agreement was a significant opportunity to increase the growth of the industry in regional Australia, leading to more jobs.
“The majority of meat production and processing facilities are located in regional areas, so this will have a flow-on effect also to suppliers for these businesses including equipment, feed stock, infrastructure and transport.”
There are currently 47 integrated (meat processing) establishments and 23 cold stores which can export meat to China, but only 11 are permitted to export chilled meat. The Joint Statement will expedite approval of an additional 15 Australian frozen meat establishments (11 integrated, 4 cold stores), and progress approvals for chilled meat export for all establishments that meet the chilled meat standard as verified by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Source: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.