Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has begun a brief visit to Europe as he fights for more market access for Australian farmers.
Free trade agreements lay out vital agreements on tariffs on specific farm products, but scientific protocols need to be agreed to before Australia can send produce. For instance, agreement could be required on what treatment Australian fruit growers might use to kill all Queensland fruit flies and larvae on fruit to make sure the fly does not spread to the importing country. In some cases this has occurred years before an FTA is signed but in many cases it has not. Negotiations on such science can take years.
“Market access is one of the biggest parts of the agriculture portfolio,” Minister Littleproud said.
“After trade deals are done, we need to actually be able to send our farm products to the countries we want to.
“Obtaining market access and negotiating export protocols are often very long processes which can be sped up by direct meetings between Ministers.
“I’ll be meeting with EU Agriculture Ministers, attending the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference and meeting with G20 Agriculture Ministers. I’ll also meet with local farm groups, tour the World Horticulture Centre and speak to potential investors in Australian agriculture.
“These kinds of meetings help delivers our farmers more options – more countries they can sell their produce to – when harvest season comes.”
Source: Australian Government