Agricultural Trade Matters, December 2019

Agricultural Trade Matters, December 2019

#AusAgtoAsia – Minister McKenzie’s visit to Japan, Korea and Vietnam

Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie completed a week-long tour to trading partners in Asia at the end of August.

The minister was joined by the head of the Department of Agriculture Daryl Quinlivan, as well as heads of other government departments and agricultural industry representatives, on a trip that aimed to further strengthen our relationships with Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

Amy Fox, head of the Department of Agriculture’s Strategic Trade Policy and North Asia Branch, said that the visit presented a prime opportunity to promote Australia’s food and fibre to some of our largest trading partners.



The role of trade in regional food security in the Asia-Pacific

Open, efficient and reliable international agricultural and food markets help to manage risks and allow food to move to where it is needed. This in turn improves access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for people across the world.

This perspective forms a crucial part of Australia’s approach to food security, the focus of the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Food Security Week and the 5th Food Security Ministerial Meeting in Puerto Varas, Chile.

Food Security Week, held from 15–24 August 2019, saw representatives from all 21 APEC member economies come together to explore approaches to food security.

New agriculture counsellor Jo Grainger

Jo Grainger will commence as the Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) in Brussels, Belgium, in January 2020.

Jo said she is honoured and excited to represent the Australian agriculture portfolio.

‘I am looking forward to the opportunity to support Australia’s trade to this important market and contributing to the Aus-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations,’ Ms Grainger said.

Agricultural trade and investment in India

In recent years Australia has placed an increased focus on improving our trade and investment relationship with India.

The Department of Agriculture’s head of bilateral engagement Jodie McAlister said that with the largest concentration of people on earth, South Asia—particularly India—is too big to ignore.

‘India’s demand for food will outpace its domestic supply out to 2035. We have the opportunity to provide our food and fibre to billions, and we need to work now to be ready to take those opportunities in the future,’ Ms McAlister said.

Certificate Scanner app adds ease to exporting

Dairy exporters will soon be able to find export information at their fingertips thanks to a new app that can scan QR codes on export certification.

The Certificate Scanner app, which will be available on app stores for Android and iPhone, will let exporters point their phone camera at export certificates to get easy access to details including certificate number, product, exporter, consignee, departure date and current certificate status.

Barbara Cooper, who has been overseeing the department’s Enhanced Traceability Project, said that the app forms part of our commitment to deliver regulatory functions in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Mentoring future female leaders in Malaysia

From May to September, the Agriculture Counsellor in Kuala Lumpur Enrico Perotti participated in the Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) Mentoring Programme.

The program, which targets female MABC members in middle management roles, aims to attract and retain women in the workforce. Mentees are matched with a mentor based on common goals, interests and professions.

All mentees said the program met their expectations, and cited that they valued the knowledge sharing, valuable inputs and guidance, different perspectives, assistance with important decisions, networking and the opportunity to learn from a leader.

Food safety the focus of bilateral agreement with Taiwan

A new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on food safety between Australia and Taiwan was signed on 29 October 2019 in Taipei, as part of the Bilateral Economic Consultations meeting.

The MoU builds on an existing food and safety agreement and provides a framework through which Australia and Taiwan will exchange information and cooperate on food safety matters.

Head of the Strategic Trade Policy and North Asia branch Amy Fox said that the MoU will help protect the strong economic relationship we have with Taiwan.

Up to $400k available as a grant to support Australian agricultural trade

Have an idea for a project that will open the door to new trade opportunities and build relationships? You could be eligible for a grant of up to $400,000 (GST excluded).

Our Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program is now accepting grant applications.

Apply at



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