Extra Australian agricultural voices deployed across the globe

Australian food producers and exporters will benefit from new strong Australian voices to be deployed to Vietnam, Malaysia and China, with extra agricultural specialists being sent to gain more market access.

Under the National Food Plan, $5.6 million has been allocated to fund a new Australian Agricultural Counsellor and locally engaged support officers in new and existing countries.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, made the announcement in Townsville with Labor Candidate for Herbert, Cathy O’Toole, and said meeting the demands of global market was crucial for Australian producers.

“The Gillard Government is committed to creating new opportunities for Australian food producers,” Minister Ludwig said.

“We will increase our network of agricultural specialists, putting more Australian voices into key and emerging markets to gain greater market access and building stronger ties.

“Australian exporters will have more regular and direct access to these Agricultural Counsellors and specialists. Industry will be meeting with Australia’s network of Agricultural Counsellors in Canberra this week.

“An enhanced network of overseas agricultural specialists assists Australian exporters with priority setting and advocacy approaches that help our quality Australian products maintain and gain access to new markets.”

Australia will appoint an Australian Agricultural Counsellor and a support officer in Hanoi, Vietnam. A locally engaged officer will be appointed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and in Beijing, China. These positions will be filled in 2014.

Agricultural Counsellors and locally engaged support officers are key contact points, building relationships between the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Australia’s major and emerging agricultural trading partners and international organisations.

The department currently has officers in 13 markets, including the European Union, the United States of America, Japan, China, Thailand, India and Indonesia.

The National Food Plan is the roadmap for future food policy. It sets the ambitious goal of increasing our agriculture and food related exports by 45% by 2025.

For information on the National Food Plan, visit daff.gov.au/nationalfoodplan.