AUSTRALIA has finalised a new red meat agreement with China to strengthen food safety processes and bilateral exchanges around technical know-how, marketing, and research and development investment.
Australian Meat Industry Council chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson signed The China Australia Red Meat Agreement (CARMA) Memorandum of Understanding with the China Meat Association in Chengdu, China yesterday on behalf of AMIC, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.
He said the agreement highlighted the importance of China to Australian industry and underlines a commitment to collaboration on both sides.
The MoU is the result of 18 months of preparations and discussions which kicked off at the China International Meat Industry Week in 2018.
“China is the biggest export market for Australian meat, and maintaining and enhancing our relationship with this critical partner is essential for the future of our industry.
“This MOU serves to reinforce the strong value our sector places on the relationship and our great respect for China as a very important trading partner,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“The aim of this MOU is to establish long-term and formal cooperative relations, strengthen effective and practical food safety processes and enable bilateral exchanges around technical know-how, marketing, and research and development investment.
“Ultimately, the MoU will help secure trade outcomes that are beneficial to all parties.”
Under the terms of the MoU, a working group to help implement the goals of the CARMA will be formed to initiate the cooperative program.
Australia’s Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said the agreement is a demonstration of the depth of relationship between our meat industry and the Chinese industry and the mutually beneficial outcomes that can be achieved by working together.
“The MoU sets out a way for our respective industries to work cooperatively to strengthen food safety processes.
“It also enables bilateral exchanges to improve our joint technical knowledge, marketing and research and development outcomes,” she said.
“Chinese consumers enjoy Australia’s safe, high quality, sustainable food and fibre and red meat is a critically important part of that.
“I commend the Chinese meat industry and the Australian meat industry for their foresight and cooperation in formalising this agreement that’s joint work program will focus on delivering mutual benefit.”
In the year to August, Australia has sent more than 172,000 tonnes of beef, 45,000 tonnes of lamb and 39,000 tonnes of mutton to China, with a total market value of close to $2 billion.
AMIC said the longer-term aims of the CARMA include development of China and Australia’s red meat industries, an enhanced supply chain for Australian meat into China, and working to streamline product specifications and labelling requirements.
“Demand for Australian meat products continues to grow in China and this MOU is another step towards securing and growing this important relationship.”
HAVE YOUR SAY