​Media Release

G20 partners to address global agriculture challenges in Germany

19 January 2017

  • Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to attend G20 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting
  • Deputy PM to chair ministerial session on water access at 9th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference
  • Deputy PM to partake in high level panel on agriculture and sustainable water management hosted by European Commissioner for Agriculture at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture
  • Deputy PM to promote agriculture and trade on 4-day visit  and strengthen ties with the EU and other G20 members on agriculture and water policy

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, will attend the G20 Agriculture Ministers' meeting in Berlin this week as a part of Australia's push to strengthen agriculture exports and build new and stronger trading partnerships.

Minister Joyce will also Chair a Ministerial session on water access at the 9th Berlin Agricultural Ministers' Conference and will partake in the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture.

"Strong international partnerships are essential to a stable and resilient global economy and it's important that Australia is an active member in international forums like the G20," Minister Joyce said.

"Sustainable agricultural growth and sustainable water use are vital for global economic and political stability, and I look forward to meeting with G20 and other agriculture ministers to discuss the fundamental role of good agriculture and water policies to achieve this.  

​"The Coalition Government understands the importance of a strong agriculture sector and well-managed water resources to the aspirations of all nations to prosper and grow.

"That is why the Nationals and Liberals have returned agriculture to the national agenda, driven by a determination to ensure we have a productive and profitable sector; including by supporting research and development, investing in water infrastructure and supporting agricultural businesses and farmers impacted by natural disasters like drought or floods.

"There is much that we can contribute at an international level by sharing Australia's experiences, our successes and our challenges, but equally a great deal we can learn from our partners who face similar challenges."

The Deputy Prime Minister will chair a ministerial session on water access during the 9th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference and will also join other agricultural leaders on a high level panel hosted by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

During his visit, Minister Joyce will meet with ministerial counterparts from a number of Australia's key trading partners for discussions on agricultural market access and trade.

"Australia is an advocate of open markets as we understand that farmers need efficient access to markets, both domestic and international, to obtain the best price for their products so they can be profitable and invest in innovation. Profitable and innovative farmers make for sustainable agriculture sectors," Minister Joyce said.

"As a bloc the EU is Australia's second largest agricultural trading partner and an important destination for premium Australian agricultural and food products.

"Discussions with EU countries will provide a good chance to promote Australia's credentials as a supplier of safe and high quality agricultural products and to discuss the opportunities for our agricultural sectors under a proposed Australia-EU free-trade agreement.

​"I welcome the opportunity to strengthen Australia's already strong agricultural and trade relationship with the EU."

​Fast Facts

  • The EU is an important agricultural trading partner for Australia, with exports worth AUD 3.1 billion in 2015, and imports from the EU worth AUD 5.3 billion.
  • The G20 membership represents 80% of world agricultural trade.
  • Germany is the world's fourth-largest economy (GDP of US$3.4 trillion in 2015) and home to the largest population in the EU (82 million).
  • German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt visited Australia in April 2016, and joined Minister Joyce to inspect the University of New England Smart Farm and a local beef cattle property in Armidale.