Elsewhere on Department of Agriculture
- World Trade Organisation
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS Agreement)
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
- Office International des Epizooties (OIE)
- International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
The Department of Agriculture has more than thirty agricultural specialists working in Australian missions in key overseas markets. They work to develop and maintain markets for our $40 billion of agricultural exports, which account for 60% of Australian farm production.
A number of our overseas officers are based in our three key export markets – Southeast Asia, China and Japan. Together, these regions account for almost 50% of Australian exports.
The negotiations for access to overseas markets, including technical consultations about the importing nation’s biosecurity requirements, can sometimes take years to work through. Department of Agriculture’s overseas officers play a key role in this process.
Department of Agriculture agricultural specialists organise and lead discussions, respond to requests for information, and facilitate visits and inspections to progress market access requests. They work closely with industry, overseas authorities, and Department of Agriculture’s Canberra head office in the process.
Overseas agricultural specialists also play a significant role in rectifying any problems with Australian agricultural goods on entry to their foreign destinations.
You can read the latest news from our overseas officers by browsing the below stories.
View locations of overseas Department of Agriculture officers
Over a decade’s work contributed to the reinstatement of lamb and processed meat market access to India, involving the Department of Agriculture, our counsellors based in New Delhi, and the Australian meat industry.
In 2001, India changed its import certification conditions for meat and meat products, and, as a result, Australia could no longer export these products there.
Continue reading about lamb and processed meat exports to India
In September 2012, the department reached an agreement with its equivalent agency in India, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHD), again permitting Australian lamb, pork and goat meat exports to India.
Staff in Canberra and New Delhi worked with their overseas counterparts to have elements of Australian certification systems recognised in the final agreement. Australia’s animal health system, export inspection and certification system and residue monitoring system were all recognised. During the 11 year process, the department’s current agricultural counsellor based in India, Slava Zeman, and her predecessors were active in negotiating approval of the new export certificate and correctly understanding India’s approach to negotiations.
Former counsellor in New Delhi, Ian Mortimer, attributed the success reinstating market access to India to fostering good relations between the countries based on understanding and trust.
“It’s all about managing expectations and addressing the sensitivities between trading partners first and foremost.”
The negotiations culminated in a meeting between the department’s Food Division with DAHD officials in New Delhi in July 2012 where it was explained how Australia planned to meet India’s conditions.
The department then negotiated acceptance of the proposed agreement with local industry.
As a result, Australian lamb is now available in top Indian restaurants, hotels and some specialised retail chains. Although the Indian population is largely vegetarian, the number of non-vegetarians is still in the hundreds of millions.
Both industry and Austrade play an active role in developing markets for exporters in India. Meat and Livestock Australia have appointed an agent to India to assist. The New-Delhi based counsellor helps by interpreting India’s import requirements to local importers and Australian exporters.The reestablishment of Australian lamb, pork and goat meat exports to India opens up another major export destination for local exporters alongside established markets including China and the US.
Department of Agriculture’s US-based specialists help gain release of AU$7 million of detained export shipments last financial year
The department’s Washington-based Minister Counsellor and his locally engaged staff, have worked in conjunction with industry partners and US officials to arrange for the release of 205 shipments of Australian products valued at AU$7 million in the 2012-13 financial year. The goods had been detained at US ports of entry pending resolution of various labelling, certification, animal and plant health questions.
The Department of Agriculture’s Beijing-based Specialist, Rob Williams, has worked with the department’s Biosecurity Plant Division to deliver market access to China for Tasmanian Cherries.
The two-year effort commenced in 2010 with the Biosecurity Plant Division leading numerous information exchanges and technical discussions. Mr Williams worked closely with the Division and Chinese authorities to progress the market access request.
Continue reading about cherry exports to China
Crucial information about declaring risk items such as plant and animal products will be displayed on posters, luggage carousel stands, screens, and banners reminding travellers of their biosecurity obligations.
First Assistant Secretary, Border Compliance Division, Tim Chapman said maintaining Australia’s biosecurity integrity was a big job that relied on industry and the community to work in partnership with DAFF.
“We want to ensure that all travellers coming to Australia understand what is required of them,” Mr Chapman said.
“The new signage makes information accessible to more people, helping them to play their part in safeguarding Australia’s unique environment, human health and agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries.”
The signage will also carry the new DAFF brand which was developed as part of the organisation’s move to a single, overarching department.
Assistant Secretary, Communication Branch, Jenny Barbour said the new signage was part of the work being done to bring DAFF’s many functions together.
“DAFF introduced its new identity in November 2011 to give people a better picture of the entire spectrum of our operations,” Ms Barbour said.
“The ability for stakeholders, industry and the community to recognise DAFF as an agency of many functions is vital not only for successful business operations but to help the community partner with us to maintain Australia’s robust biosecurity system.”
23 Sep 2013