Australia's NFF urges calm over UK-Australia free trade agreement

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) says that the outcome of any free trade agreement is that both parties have improved export options - there is no reason to think that the UK-Australia FTA will be any different.
calendar icon 21 May 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

Issuing a statement on the ongoing trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and Australia, NFF President Fiona Simson said, “The NFF values the close relationship we have with our counterparts in the UK National Farmers Union."

“The NFF was warmly welcomed to the UK in 2019 by NFU President Minette Batters and despite the distance and geographical differences our farmers share many of the same issues and challenges as our UK peers.”

“The NFF continues to support Trade Minister Tehan and the Australian Government in the collaborative and productive negotiations with their UK counterparts as they strive towards securing a free trade agreement that is to the overall benefit of both parties.”

Ms Simson said the reality was any potential increase in Australian beef and sheep meat exports to the United Kingdom as an outcome from an enhanced trade partnership, would be dependent on UK demand.

“The volume of Australian red meat to the UK in the context of the UK’s total red meat imports and Australia’s total exports, is very, very small.”

In 2020, the UK imported 314,000 tonnes of beef, with only 1567 tonnes coming from Australia, approximately 0.15% of all Australian beef exports.

In 2020 the UK imported 67,500 tonnes of sheep meat, about 14% of which came from Australia.

“The aim of any free trade agreement is to provide both parties options. Australian red meat producers would like to have the option to export to the UK if and when the UK needs it.”

Ms Simson said Australia’s red meat industry was leading the world in investing in research and adopting supply chain practices aimed at cutting carbon emissions – with a target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“Meat and Livestock Australia report on progress towards this goal using the Australian Green House Gas Inventory. The Australian GHG Inventory follows the IPCC guidelines.”

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