Dairy remains hopeful of comprehensive TPP outcome

Aug 17, 2015

In the wake of the Maui Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meetings, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has re-emphasised the importance of achieving a commercially meaningful outcome for all Australian dairy producers with regards to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

While the ADIC is disappointed that a meaningful agreement has not been reached to date, it remains hopeful that in the near future a TPP which is in the best interests of the Australian dairy industry - and importantly the Australian community as a whole, will be completed.

The TPP is a multi-country Free Trade Agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.

Sustained economic and population growth is driving an increase in dairy demand for the Asia-Pacific, but to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, TPP must be ambitious, comprehensive and commercially meaningful.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said there is still a lot of work to be done and key dairy market access outcomes across the TPP remain unresolved.

“Major dairy players must recognise the importance of trade liberalisation and honouring previously agreed positions to advancing negotiations in a positive manner,” Mr Campbell said.

“A commercially meaningful outcome for the TPP would provide benefits to all countries involved, their industries and consumers. Yet in order to achieve positive results across the board all TPP nations must demonstrate a willingness to negotiate in good faith.”

Mr Campbell acknowledged the efforts of the Minister for Trade, the Hon. Andrew Robb, his staff and the team of dedicated negotiators who have worked on its behalf.

“We will continue to promote the interests of Australian dairy as negotiations progress, and hope to see a comprehensive agreement reached in the near future.”

The ADIC remains are committed to working Government to reach a transformative outcome that provides opportunity for its farmers and processors.

To find out more about the ADIC’s work to liberalise access to key dairy export markets see here


ADIC reiterates need to implement China-Australia FTA in 2015

Jul 31, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has reiterated the importance of ratifying the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) within the 2015 calendar year, to ensure the benefits can reach Australian producers as quickly as possible.

Any delay in implementation of the deal beyond 31 December 2015 will cost Australian dairy between $20 million and $60 million in tariffs. This will make it more difficult for the Australian industry to compete and gain further market share.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said while the council recognised that debate about the ChAFTA is part and parcel of a vibrant democracy, the Parliament needed to keep in mind the opportunities at stake for agriculture and food production.

“For Australian dairy to grow and invest in our future profitability, we will require markets that offer a way forward and match our progress,” Mr Campbell said.

“China’s population is set to reach 1.6 billion by 2050 offering enormous opportunity to sustainably grow beyond domestic markets. Our opportunity in China is underpinned by their demand for high quality, safe, value-added products such as infant formula.

Mr Campbell reiterated that parliamentary support for the agreement, that sees the removal of all tariffs on dairy imports over a decade, remains essential.

“With a long record of innovation and adaptation to changing conditions and markets, Australia’s dairy producers are in a strong position to meet the particular demands of boosting exports to China and growing our market share,” Mr Campbell explained.

The Australian dairy industry has had a long and close relationship with China and ChAFTA will allow our industries to further develop this long-term relationship to the mutual benefit of both countries.

Timing is of the essence. If farmers are to maximise benefits from the removal of tariffs then the deal must be implemented in this calendar year.”

The ADIC looks forward to working with both sides of Government to ensure the implementation of the ChAFTA by 31 December 2015. 

 


Boost for dairy competitiveness welcomed

Jul 18, 2015

The much-anticipated Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released on Saturday 4 July on Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) National Councillor, Roma Britnell’s dairy farm in Victoria has delivered key initiatives which mark a positive step toward delivering higher productivity and profitability for Australian dairy.

Key benefits for dairy farmers which have been championed by ADF as part of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) include increased funding for Agricultural Counsellors abroad to address technical barriers to trade in overseas markets; improved flexibility of Farm Management Deposits and investment in establishing agricultural expertise in the provision of an Agricultural Commissioner for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“We are pleased to see that key points of the ADIC’s recommendations to the Green Paper have been taken on board,” ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said.

“In particular, the provision of $11.4 million over four years toward boosting ACCC engagement with agriculture, including an ACCC Agriculture Commissioner, will aid in fostering a stronger business environment throughout the supply chain.”

The ADIC submissions to the issues and green papers covered all aspects of agricultural policy with a particular focus on the following key areas:

  • Continued support for research, development and extension projects;
  • Overseas trade market access;
  • Strengthening competition laws;
  • Improving skilled labour availability.

The Government’s enhanced commitment to research, development and extension projects with a focus on innovation and risk management was also welcomed by the ADIC. The commitment of $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally will also play an essential role in creating a more durable, profitable and competitive dairy industry.

Additionally, the Government’s confirmation for water efficiency projects combined with improving existing water infrastructure and developing new infrastructure is positive. Increased support for these initiatives was a key recommendation in the ADIC’s submission to the Green Paper.

Mr Campbell said that the ADIC is committed to working with Government to see swift implementation of the initiatives delivered in the White Paper.

“The White Paper points us in the right direction in terms of where we want to go and as an industry we now look forward to working with Government to ensure that these initiatives translate into real outcomes for dairy.”

Click here to view the ADIC’s submission to the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper. 


PoM rent increase will damage dairy's competitiveness

Jun 17, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) is extremely concerned about the Victorian Government proposal to increase rent of stevedoring facilities at the Port of Melbourne (PoM). The size of the reported increase will have a large and disproportionate impact on the dairy industry, including both dairy farmers and companies that export product through the port.

With around 85% of total dairy exports channelled through the PoM, dairy is the 5th largest user of the port. According to ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell the move could cripple dairy’s future competitiveness.

“The Australian dairy industry operates in an open international market, competing directly with products from other dairy producing countries,” Mr Campbell explained.

“Dairy manufacturers operating out of the PoM will be unable to simply add on the cost of the rent increase to their exported products without incurring negative effects in the global market place. This means the rent hike will be charged back to dairy farmers.”

Basing their estimating on the fact that each Twenty-foot Equivalent Container (TEU) will be handed a $100 rent increase per container, the ADIC said the impact on individual dairy farmers could be in excess of $1,000 per farm.

“The export market provides substantial and important markets for our products, one where there is clearly great demand for our high quality, safe products,” Mr Campbell said. “Exporting to these regions ensures the industry’s ongoing viability and growth.”

The ADIC has also expressed concern that the funds raised by the Government through the increased rent are not committed to improving port facilities, but will instead be directed to the cost of removing railway crossings in suburban Melbourne.

This will have repercussions for port fees in the future and provide no direct benefit to the dairy and other manufacturers that use the port. The impact on dairy and other commodity exports is further exacerbated by the proposed 50-year non-compete clause that will effectively mean the abandonment of the development of Hastings as an alternative deep-water port.

For further information on the ADIC’s policy and advocacy work in the markets, trade and value chain area click here


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