The ratification of trade deals with three of Australia’s valued existing and emerging trading partners has been welcomed by Australia’s 80,000 red meat exporters, producers, lot feeders, livestock exporters and meat processors.

The ratification of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA), the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) and the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HK FTA) today has received strong endorsement from the Australian red meat and livestock industry.

Independent Chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council, Australia’s only supply chain and policy leadership organisation, said the industry applauded the bipartisan support shown ratifying the three trade agreements.

“The red meat and livestock industry is a large contributor to jobs in rural and regional Australia, which in turn is largely trade exposed, with 6 in every 10 jobs relying on our ability to trade with the world,” said Mr Mackay.

“This trade trifecta represents real opportunities for the Australian supply chain to develop even closer and more stable economic partnerships with long-term trading partners in Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as opening up new market opportunities in Peru.”

“Access to a broad range of markets is integral to ensuring our industry is able maintain its competitiveness in the challenging global trade environment, as well as maintain profitability particularly when extensive portions of our sector are affected by severe drought conditions.

The Australian red meat and livestock industry released (October 2019) its shared vision and direction for Australia’s red meat businesses – Red Meat 2030 – which identified Our Markets as one of six major strategic priorities to double the value of the Australian red meat industry by 2030 as the trusted source of highest quality protein.

“Trading with the world is a top priority for our industry and core to our economic resilience. Implementation of these three trade agreements is perfectly aligned to Red Meat 2030 and is a welcome stimulus in achieving our 2030 ambitions,” Mr Mackay said.

“Indonesia is a vitally important trading partner for the Australian live cattle and beef industry – along with a steady requirement for sheepmeat. Combined, the existing trade was worth over a $1 billion in 2018.”

“The benefits of ratifying IA-CEPA and securing more trade certainty with this key export market are unsurpassed – particularly at a time of global trade disruption.”

“The implementation of the A-HK FTA promotes closer economic relationships between Australia and Hong Kong and will ‘lock in’ Australia’s current duty-free access for red meat products.”

“PAFTA will offer new export opportunities for Australian beef, goatmeat and sheepmeat with all tariffs being eliminated within five years, in an environment where the consumption of red meat products is forecast to increase substantially in coming years.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Anna Campbell, 0448 692 245, anna@rmac.com.au