MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 15 June 2021
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes today’s announcement in London by Prime Ministers Morrison and Johnston of agreement in-principle regarding the parameters of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA).
The agreement will see Australian beef and sheepmeat access to the UK liberalised over a 10-year transition period.
The deal is also the first “new” bilateral agreement to be agreed following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU).
“The UK and Australia have a long, shared history, both culturally and commercially,” said Andrew McDonald, Chair of the Australia-UK Red Meat Market Access Taskforce*.
“For Australian red meat producers, processors and exporters, this has meant working with UK importers and distributers to supply high quality Australian red meat products to meet discerning British customer demand.
“Back in the 1950’s, the UK was one of Australia’s steadfast export customers. A lot has changed since then, as red meat markets have evolved, and we have responded to strong demand in markets closer to home.
“While our ability to service the market has previously been constrained by a highly restrictive UK (and prior to 2021, European Union) import regime, the A-UK FTA will facilitate an easier response to British consumers seeking to “buy Aussie” – should they wish to do so.”
The deal, once signed and ratified, will result in Australian beef and sheepmeat/goat meat exports entering the UK under a tariff rate quota (TRQ) regime – with initial TRQ tonnages gradually increasing over the 10-year transition period, whilst the above quota tariff will be linearly reduced.
“At a time when processing and the export industry has been grappling with workforce issues, record-high livestock prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great opportunity for the Australian red meat industry to further develop and deliver into the future,” said Patrick Hutchinson, CEO AMIC.
“AMIC and its members have been providing advice and consultation throughout this process and have worked hard to achieve this great outcome.
“We acknowledge and thank Andrew McDonald, Director and Department Manager – Sales, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at NH Foods (AMIC member), for leading our joint taskforce as Chair,” said Mr Hutchinson.
“We’d like to thank Trade Minister Dan Tehan, Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss and their respective negotiating teams for their tireless work in achieving this momentous outcome.”
Catharine Heffernan, General Manager – Communications
* Red Meat Advisory Council; Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council; Australian Lot Feeders’ Association; Australian Meat Industry Council; Cattle Council of Australia; Goat Industry Council of Australia; Sheep Producers Australia; quota holders and industry service providers: Meat & Livestock Australia and Australian Meat Processor Corporation.