EU free trade deal talks timely

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

AUS­TRALIAN agri­cul­ture is in the box seat to ben­e­fit from a new free trade agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union (EU), with the first of­fi­cial talks to­wards the FTA tak­ing place in Brussels early in July.

Na­tional Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Fiona Sim­son, who led a trade-fo­cussed del­e­ga­tion of farm­ers to Europe in Jan­uary, said the news sig­nalled in­creased mar­ket op­por­tu­nity for Aus­tralian pri­mary pro­duc­ers, with our food and fi­bre per­fectly matched to the dis­cern­ing Euro­pean mar­ket.

“The EU is a niche, pre­mium mar­ket for Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture,” she said.

“A com­pre­hen­sive and high-qual­ity agree­ment could sub­stan­tially im­prove mar­ket ac­cess for Aus­tralian agri­cul­tural prod­ucts such as red meat, dairy, hor­ti­cul­ture, grains and oilseeds, sugar, cot­ton, rice and wool.

“Our high-qual­ity agri­cul­tural prod­ucts can cater for the Euro­pean con­sumer, par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about food and fi­bre prove­nance, food safety, an­i­mal health and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity.”

PHOTO: CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER

TALK­ING POINT: Grain is one of many agri­cul­tural sec­tors that would ben­e­fit from a new EU free trade agree­ment.

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