A collaborative Ministerial and industry trade mission to Asia moves to Vietnam today, focussed on opening new opportunities in the burgeoning economy.
National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar, is part of the delegation and a very positive and collaborative initiative led by the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie.
Earlier this week the group visited Japan and Korea, seeing first hand the insatiable demand for Australia’s safe and fresh produce.
Mr Mahar said seeing Australian fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy on the shelf as premium products in Japan and Korea was something Australia’s farmers should feel immensely proud of.
“Our ability to meet consumer demand and secure market share is a direct result of the free trade agreements the Government successfully negotiated with these countries.
“The delegation’s message to the importers we met with was that the Australian Government and farmers were united in making sure we continued to build on the market opportunities established in recent years.
“Japanese and Korean consumers now know our products and have an appetite for more.
“The opportunity is there to take these trade relationships to the next level and introduce even more consumers to Australia’s world class farm produce.”
Mr Mahar said the Minister’s initiative to support an industry-to-industry approach was key to growing these markets.
“Australian farmers talking to in-country importers and retailers, means we are able to build the confidence they need to purchase more Australian goods.
“Our Japanese and Korean customers are interested in the story behind Australia’s farm products and, above all, value our high food safety standards.”
The visit to Vietnam today follows the Prime Minister’s visit to the country last week.
Vietnam is already a major market for Australian wheat, malt, beef, dairy and cotton.
“With a population of more than 95 million people, and a rapidly growing economy, Australian farmers are well placed to meet the demands of Vietnamese consumers,” Mr Mahar said.
“Introducing Vietnamese consumers to the fabulous Australian fresh produce that their Japanese, Korean, and other Asian counterparts already enjoy, is a priority for the Government and the farm sector.
“The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and the Korean-Australian Free Trade Agreement, negotiated under the Coalition Government, are shining examples of what can be achieved for Australians farmers.
The ASEAN-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership have already secured improved market access to Vietnam for Australia agricultural exports, including beef, pig, sheepmeat and goat meat, dairy, grains, rice, vegetables, sugar, wine, wool, cotton and seafood.
“Farmers look forward to working with Minister McKenzie and Minister Birmingham to grow an ever more fruitful trade relationship with Vietnam.”