- QFF is underwhelmed by the 2021-22 State Budget which appears to be all style and not enough substance. QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said the Budget’s headline numbers could not disguise that it was again a missed opportunity to address some critical productivity issues and exciting growth opportunities. Read QFF’s media release HERE.
- QFF has welcomed an electricity rebate announced by the state government to assist farmers transitioning to new retail tariffs but noted the funding would do little to address existing energy affordability issues. Read QFF’s media statement HERE.
- The agriculture sector is the only one that can deliver food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for relatively low risk. However, without more targeted and deliberate action from government, agriculture will not fully capitalise on the exciting opportunities that are unquestionably available. Read QFF’s Queensland Country Life column HERE.
- “It is imperative that all Australians and visitors adhere to biosecurity requirements both on-farm and in general, and report suspected breaches to Biosecurity Queensland immediately.” QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis recently spoke to InQueensland regarding biosecurity, read more HERE.
- A cotton farm just outside Goondiwindi in Queensland is the site of a ground breaking trial to test whether shredded cotton products could offer benefits to cotton soil health, and a scalable solution to textile waste. Read more from Cotton Australia HERE.
- Australia’s sugarcane growers have welcomed the opportunity to grow sugar exports to the United Kingdom under an in-principle trade deal between the two countries. Read more from QFF industry member CANEGROWERS HERE.
- The federal government has announced a new seasonal agriculture worker visa. The visa will be extended to all 10 ASEAN countries in view of Australia’s close and longstanding economic ties with the region. Read more HERE.
- Australian farmgate production is on track for a record-breaking $66.3 billion year. ABARES’ June quarter 2021 Agriculture Commodities report shows how the sector has navigated the uncertainties and challenges posed by COVID-19 and changes in the international trade landscape. Read the report HERE.
- Australians can now nominate individuals and businesses who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of our $66 billion agricultural industries and the health of our animals, plant and people through the 2021 Australian Biosecurity Awards. For more information and to nominate a biosecurity champion, click HERE.
- Most people keep fruit in a bowl, but that might be the fastest way to rot your healthy snacks. Prevent food waste, keep your fruit fresher for longer and have a better eating experience with some helpful tips from fruiterer and cook Thanh Truong, and the ABC. Learn more HERE.
New opportunities for Aussie farmers in UK FTA
Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson this week agreed in principle to a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement paving the way for improved and expanded access for Australian red meat, sugar, rice and dairy products.
Government commits to Ag Visa
The NFF is cautiously optimistic that calls for a dedicated agriculture visa have been answered after the Morrison Government committed to put the new visa in place by the end of this year in the wake of changes to UK backpacker requirements as a result of FTA negotiations.
Female leaders converge on Canberra
The 2021 cohort of the NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership arrived in the nation’s capital to begin an intensive one-on-one mentoring program this week. While in Canberra, the women met with Ministers and MPs raising issues such as the future of regional communities, the agriculture workforce and the treatment of women in Parliament.
Vegan 'meat' labelling subject to senate inquiry
Farmers have welcomed a Senate inquiry into food labelling laws and vegan meat product labelling to investigate the use of terms such as ‘meat free mince’ and ‘vegan bacon’.
Drought Resilience Leaders Program now open
Launched yesterday, the Federal Government's Drought Resilience Leaders Program is designed to give regional communities the skills to build drought resilience through training and mentoring. As part of the initiative, the NFF is working with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation to deliver a nation-wide mentoring program for farmers.
Australia and the United Kingdom strike an 'in principle' trade deal
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his UK counterpart, Boris Johnson this week agreed to an ‘in principle’ free trade deal which will see the UK liberalise the import of Australian beef, lamb, sugar, rice and dairy products.
The proposed deal is the first trade agreement reached by the United Kingdom since it exited the European Union. The agreement, which is expected to come into force midway next year, will liberalise imports, with up to 99 per cent of Australian goods entering the United Kingdom, duty free.
What will this mean for the agriculture industry?
- Beef tariffs will be eliminated after 10 years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 35,000 tonnes, which will rise in equal instalments to 110,000 tonnes in 10 years.
- Sheep meat tariffs too, will be eliminated after 10 years. During the transition period, Australian will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 25,000 tonnes, rising in equal instalments to 75,000 tonnes in 10 years.
- Sugar tariffs will be eliminated over eight years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 80,000 tonnes, rising by 20,000 tonnes each year.
- Dairy tariffs will be eliminated over five years. During the transition period, Australian will have immediate access to a duty-free quota for cheese of 24,000 tonnes in year five.
- Australian dairy farmers will also have immediate access to a duty-free quota for non-cheese dairy of 20,000 tonnes.
- Rice will receive immediate duty-free access for short and medium grain milled rice when the agreement enters in force.
- British citizens on a Working Holiday Maker visa will be exempt from the requirement to complete 88 days of specified work such as farm labour.
Click here for more information.
Quote of the week
"The UK Trade deal will create new opportunities for Australian farmers as we work towards growing the industry output to $100 billion by 2030."
-NFF President, Fiona Simson