​​Media Release

Greater representation for our farming sector in premium markets

27 January 2016

Five new agricultural counsellors have now begun their work in key export markets, as the Australian Government continues to deliver measures under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the new counsellors were part of the government’s $30.8 million investment, under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, to give Australian producers better access to premium overseas markets, tackle technical barriers to trade and expand into emerging markets while maintaining and strengthening Australia’s position in existing markets.

“I am delighted that as of today, Australia Day, we now have five new agricultural counsellors on the ground in Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China and Thailand,” Minister Joyce said.

“These are key markets for Australia, worth about $13.7 billion in agricultural exports in 2014, and the government consulted widely with industry in determining which markets to establish these new positions in.

“These new positions will substantially strengthen Australia’s existing overseas agricultural counsellor network in key markets based in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi, Washington, Rome, Brussels and Dubai, taking the total number of overseas agricultural counsellors from 12 to 17. As well, each agricultural counsellor works with support from locally engaged staff.

“There are now two new agricultural counsellor positions in Vietnam and Malaysia—two emerging markets with the potential to increase even further in importance for Australian farmers.

“We have also placed an additional counsellor in China, where we exported more than $9 billion worth of agricultural products in 2014–15.

“The team of counsellors in China will work to ensure our farmers can make the most of the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement that will give so many of our producers preferential market access over international competitors.

“There is now a high level counsellor in Bangkok to strengthen Australian engagement with our ASEAN trading partners.

“And we now have a second counsellor in the Middle East, who will work to get a broad range of products into a number of growing and new markets.”

Minister Joyce said the counsellors were another example of the Australian Government’s commitment to the Ag White Paper to help realise our goal of improving international trade and growing farm businesses.

“There has been significant progress in the implementation of the Ag White Paper in its first six months, and we are working hard on continuing this momentum,” Minister Joyce said.

For more information about the role of agricultural counsellors, visit agriculture.gov.au/market-access-trade/overseas-network

To find out more about the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and its key measures, visit agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au