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Agricultural Trade Quarterly Briefing

July 2021

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Introduction

Welcome to the new and improved Agricultural Trade newsletter (formally Agricultural Trade Matters). You will notice we have made some changes to ensure this publication remains relevant to you, our readers. This publication will brief you on the latest developments in Australian agricultural trade and direct you to the information you need to stay informed in this space. In this issue we draw your attention to exciting changes in the NEXDOC system with the introduction of QR codes, big wins for exporters looking to access Korean markets and progressing in modernising Australia’s meat export regulatory systems.

And while we’ve got your attention – we want your opinions too! We are seeking feedback on this newsletter, to make sure it is working for you. We want to know more about who receives it, what our audiences find useful and how we can improve. If you’d like to contribute, please click here.

Milking NEXDOC for all it’s worth

Scan the QR code to learn more about the NEXDOC system.

Dairy exporters are the first to transition to the new Next Export Documentation (NEXDOC) system. NEXDOC is a web-based system that generates digital export documentation more easily. One of the key technologies used in NEXDOC is QR codes. NEXDOC will automatically generate dairy export certifications with a unique QR code, as well as a certificate number providing improved product traceability and enhanced security across the supply chain. The introduction of NEXDOC further strengthens the international competitiveness and value of our agricultural exports and enhancing our reputation for high quality products.

Learn more about NEXDOC on our website.

Micor user survey

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (Micor) Have Your Say survey last month. We are currently reviewing feedback. Shortly, we will make even more improvements to make sure that our Micor provides trade information for exporters as effectively and efficiently as possible.

We’re continually building on changes we’ve already made to the system. Since July 2019, we have made 8,000 new entries and more than 57,000 updates to Micor, helping exporters keep up to date with frequently changing requirements. We’re making Micor easier to use and keep up to date with changes to importing country requirements. Have a look on Micor to see what’s going on for your industry and export destinations!

Improving plant exports survey

Following a recent survey of plant product exporters, we are now working with stakeholders to identify ways to simplify government processes. This will make it cheaper and quicker to get produce into overseas markets.

We are aiming to:

  • identify areas of duplication and opportunities to harmonise state and territory government requirements
  • recognise and implement industry standards and quality systems in the plant export pathway
  • onboard new technologies to automate certification processes.

Stay tuned to our social media and website for exciting updates soon!

Significant modernisation of meat export industry

Our export meat regulatory systems are undergoing significant modernisation as part of the Building a More Competitive Meat Industry initiative.Our export meat regulatory systems are undergoing significant modernisation as part of the Building a More Competitive Meat Industry initiative. Credit: Shutterstock

We are working across government and industry to modernise the export meat regulatory system. The Building a More Competitive Meat Industry initiative is a $10.9 million investment in Australia’s $16 billion export meat industry that will strengthen our reputation as a provider of high-quality, safe meat.

The initiative will:

  • keep world-leading export systems for Australia
  • introduce new regulatory assurance methods to help reduce regulatory burden
  • introduce technology to make assurance methods more flexible.

The initiative will advance Australia’s position as a world leader in food safety and integrity systems, reduce costs for exporters and help the industry remain competitive internationally.

We are already taking steps on this initiative, by convening the industry – government led Meat Modernisation Working Group, and committing to meaningful and regular engagement with industry.

To find out more, or to sign up for our upcoming e-newsletter to keep up to date, email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Small market improvements in South Asia are big wins for Australian producers

Farmers and producers looking to expand their export markets will benefit from our recent work to improve market access in South Asia for grains, pulses, oilseeds and horticulture.

Improvements to fumigation and treatment methods will give producers greater flexibility, reduce lead times, reduce costs, and get products to consumers faster.

Technical market improvements reduce time, costs and get products to consumers faster.
Technical market improvements reduce time, costs and get products to consumers faster. Credit: DAWE.

Australian agricultural exports to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh collectively exceeded $750 million in 2020. These are established markets that know the quality of our produce and have experience working with Australian exporters; however, to make the most of these opportunities, exporters need to develop their market understanding, connections and risk tolerance. We encourage all exporters to leverage the in-country presence of both the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and Austrade. You can use this network to build in-country relationships, trial shipments, and turn small improvements into big wins.

Further information about importing conditions for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan can be found at Micor.

Indonesia-Australia partnership making its mark

Australian exports are benefiting from reduced tariffs under IA-CEPA.Australian exports are benefiting from reduced tariffs under IA-CEPA. Credit: Shutterstock

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) will mark its one-year anniversary on 5 July 2021. Under IA-CEPA, Indonesia and Australia negotiated improved tariff arrangements, from which Australian agriculture exporters are reaping significant rewards.

For example, at 7 June 2021, the value of agricultural goods exported to Indonesia under IA-CEPA’s Tariff Rate Quotas was approximately AU$366 million!

IA-CEPA will not only benefit Australian exporters but will also contribute to development of Indonesia’s agri food sector. Supporting trade and investment, improving market access, and promoting inclusive economic growth in Indonesia are important aims of the partnership agreement.

Find out more about IA-CEPA and the benefits for agricultural exporters at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

COAC - Strengthening ‘ROK solid’ agricultural trade relationship with Korea

Head of Trade, Market Access and International Division, Chris Tinning, co-chaired the virtual meeting with Director-General Sang-man Lee of Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.Head of Trade, Market Access and International Division, Chris Tinning, co-chaired the virtual meeting with Director-General Sang-man Lee of Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Credit: DAWE

The Committee On Agricultural Cooperation (COAC) with Korea held its first meeting on 13 April 2021. Established under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), this meeting signals an important milestone in a mutually beneficial trading relationship.

Korea is Australia’s fourth largest export market, valued at $2.9 billion in 2020. In particular, Korean consumers recognise and value Australia’s clean and green environment as the foundation for high-quality food and agricultural products. This means there are opportunities for more Australian exports to supplement Korea’s domestic production, with demand for agri-food products on the rise.

The Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI) rollout in Korea has seen over 50 Australian exporters receiving one-on-one market entry services in the wine, red meat, seafood and premium packaged foods sectors. Austrade at the Seoul Embassy, supported by DAWE, continues to work closely with key industry associations in Australia.

For more information on export opportunities to Korea, visit the Austrade website.

Australia celebrates 50 years of OECD membership

The Paris Chateau hosting the OECD Secretary-General offices.The Paris Chateau hosting the OECD Secretary-General offices. Credit: DAWE

This year Australia celebrates its 50th year of membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD). The appointment of Mathias Cormann as the 6th Secretary-General of the OECD, and first from the Indo-Pacific region has come just in time to mark this milestone.

The OECD delivers data-driven comparative analysis of government policies and global trends to assist policy-makers. Its recent publication of the annual Monitoring and Evaluation Report concluded that Australia’s agricultural sectors are among the most self-reliant in the world. The OECD undertakes this analysis by comparing government policies and measuring the gap between domestic and world prices for commodities. Self-reliant farmers are better for the environment, are better able to adapt to challenges and ultimately keeps costs down for consumers.

Read more about the evaluation of agricultural policies spanning all six continents at the OECD website.

Modernising food import and export systems through international standards

CCFICS25 – more than 600 delegates from 88 member countries working together to modernise food safety systems and support a profitable and resilient food and agriculture sector.CCFICS25 – more than 600 delegates from 88 member countries working together to modernise food safety systems and support a profitable and resilient food and agriculture sector. Credit: DAWE

Australia recently hosted more than 600 delegates from 88 member countries for the 25th Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS). The committee made important progress toward modernising the food safety systems that support a profitable and resilient food and agricultural sector.

The Committee progressed decisions on guidance for the use of voluntary third-party assurance schemes and on paperless trade (through electronic certification), which will be considered for adoption in November by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Australia co-chaired the work on paperless trade, and supported progressing the draft guidance to assist international trade during the coronavirus operating environment and beyond. The Committee also supported starting new work on the prevention and control of food fraud.

Australia’s proposal to prepare guidance on remote audit and verification activities in regulatory frameworks garnered strong support from the Committee. We will now be leading a group to scope this work with Canada and Singapore.

To find out more about CCFICS visit the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) website.

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