Media Release

Technical market access to deliver another $58 million a year

24 June 2014

In another demonstration of the Australian Government’s commitment to expanding market access for Australia's agriculture producers, agreement has been reached with Japan to re-establish trade in animal-based stockfeed and stockfeed ingredients.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Australian Renderers Association estimates put the expected value of the trade by 2020 at $58 million a year.

"This is a great win for the industry that already contributes $275 million to our annual agricultural export value," Minister Joyce said.

"Our animal based feed is a very efficient source of protein and is used in a range of stockfeeds and as an ingredient in pet food.

"Japan reacted swiftly to the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE – or mad cow disease) in various countries about 10 years ago.

"While Japan did not place restrictions on imports of Australian boneless meat, it has taken longer to agree protocols that give Japan the assurance it needs to permit the importation of certain cuts of bone-in beef and animal-based stock feeds.

"In addition to agreeing conditions for the resumption of imports of animal-based stockfeeds, a couple of months ago Japanese consumers were able to tuck in to a quality Australian T-bone steak for the first time in 10 years."

Minister Joyce said the new market access achieved through the completion of negotiations on the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), in April this year, was not the only endeavour the government was pursuing to improve market access with Japan.

"In 2013, Japan was Australia’s second most valuable agricultural export market valued at $4.6 billion," Minister Joyce said.

"There is no doubting that the JAEPA delivers commercially meaningful market access with more than 97 per cent of Australia's exports to receive preferential or duty-free access, including concessions on a range of key agricultural exports to Japan. Without JAEPA, Australia would continue to face high tariffs and complex trade barriers for major exports.

"We continue to work hard to improve market access through negotiating technical advances that meet Japan's needs while ensuring any import conditions are practical and affordable for our agricultural industries."