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25 September 2020

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

Agribusiness, commercial fishing and aquaculture news from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).  If you have any questions or information to share, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.auSubscribe to Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews.

Virtual agrifood and beverage event showcases WA produce

Border closures have not stopped a group of Western Australian agrifood and beverage businesses showcasing their wares to buyers in the Chinese market.

A successful virtual ‘taste and talk’ promotional event featuring high quality produce from WA was held recently with prospective buyers from the east coast province of Zhejiang, south of Shanghai, which has been a sister province of WA since 1987.

The innovative marketing and trade opportunity was created and hosted by DPIRD, in collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s Invest and Trade WA team.

WA has a longstanding relationship with Zhejiang, which has been a sister province since 1987, while its major northern city of Jiaxing has been a sister city of Bunbury since 2000.

The three-hour gathering was held using a digital conferencing platform, enabling participants to share in the event in real time and discuss the food and beverages being sampled.

DPIRD Primary Industries Trade Manager I-Lyn Loo said it was the first time the WA Government had held this type of virtual agrifood and beverage showcase, which received encouraging feedback from all participants.

“The Zhejiang showcase is another example of how local agrifood and beverage businesses and government have worked together to adjust to the new operating environment created by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” Ms Loo said.  More...  Source & Photo:  DPIRD [A recent innovative virtual promotion event hosted by the WA Government showcased WA agrifood and beverages to Chinese buyers in Hangzhou City.]

DPIRD launches Gulf market insight webinars

DPIRD has commenced a Gulf Market Insights Series in partnership with the Western Australian Government's Middle East and Africa Office based in Dubai, and managed by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

This virtual series is offered exclusively to WA agrifood businesses and industry representatives to learn more about export opportunities to key Gulf markets directly from international premium food buyers.

The first of this series – which took place on Monday – focused on seafood and food service opportunities and featured Transmed, a leading food service distributor based in Dubai with expertise and networks to other growing markets in the Gulf region such as Saudi Arabia.

The second of this series, focusing on fresh produce and re-exports into Saudi Arabia, will take place on 6 October 2020 at 2pm AWST.  For further information, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.au.  More...  Source & Photos:  DPIRD

Air freight collaboration saving WA businesses and jobs: Perth Airport

Perth Airport has praised the ongoing collaboration between government and industry, saying it has been instrumental in keeping export markets open and saving WA jobs.

“Given that regular international transport movements have all but stopped, it’s been crucial for us to work closely with airlines and the State and Federal Governments in order to preserve important international export markets and jobs in Western Australia,” said Perth Airport Chief Aviation Development Officer, Carolyn Turnbull.

“A prime example of this collaboration to support Western Australia’s agrifood industry is a Xiamen Airlines’ charter service that departed this week, with over 30,800 kilograms of seafood and WA rock lobster bound for China.

“The service was supported by the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), which aims to keep international freight routes and flights operating until the end of the year and enables Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative to send fresh produces directly to China, making produce more competitive in the current market.

“We have also seen the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) support agricultural businesses such as Linley Valley Pork in order to continue supplying premium chilled WA pork to Singapore in the midst of air freight chaos and market disruption.

“Without this cooperation between business and government during these times of crisis our market position and a number of Western Australian jobs would have been threatened,” Ms Turnbull said.

DPIRD’s air freight co-ordinator Terry Burnage also praised the IFAM team, saying they had been extremely responsive to the needs of WA agribusinesses.

“The support and cooperation of IFAM has been superb. In addition, the ongoing commitment of Perth Airport, key WA freight forwarders, WA Government overseas offices and our food and beverage exporters has been vitally important to the continuation of WA’s perishable food and live seafood trade,” Mr Burnage said.  More...  Source:  Perth Airport / DPIRD  |  Related:  Latest outbound and inbound IFAM flight schedules  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Perth Airport

Trade and investment relationship with UK vital to WA

A free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will deliver new opportunities for Western Australians and British businesses looking to invest in our State, according to the WA Agent General in London, Mike Deeks CSC.

Speaking in a video on a new Australian High Commission website launched to promote benefits of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, Mr Deeks said the UK is vital to our State, with 82 per cent of Australia's merchandise to the UK coming from WA.

"This FTA means a lot to WA because it will allow us to continue to grow our export relationship with the UK, and most importantly, our investment relationship where the UK is such a vital part of our State's economy," he said.

"As we diversify our economy into new sectors, we see that the UK can support in introducing technology into WA in the areas of space, agri-tech, med-tech and renewable energies."

The WA Agent General welcomes trade and investment enquiries, so please feel free to reach out via agent_general@wago.co.uk.  More...  WA Agent General, London  |  Photo:  WA Agrifood Export eNews

Hacking the way to improving our honey industry

Entrepreneurs, scientists, bee keepers and university students will be putting their creative marketing and problem solving skills forward at the 2020 Honey Bee Hackathon.  The October event brings together industry and innovators to share product ideas and develop them for local and export markets.

The event is run by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products with support from DPIRD.  Attendees will hear from commercial beekeepers, honey bee product packers and successful project development businesses.

Participants are invited to bring along their ideas, work in a group to test and evolve them, and then undergo a panel evaluation.  The best concept which provides an opportunity to value add to the honey industry in Western Australia will receive $500 to support their progress.

CRC Chief Executive Officer Liz Barbour said the WA honey bee industry was currently valued at $50 million at the farm gate, but had the goal to grow to $100 million by 2030.

The Honey Hackathon will be held at DPIRD's South Perth office on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October.  Registration is required.  Further information and tickets are available from the CRC for Honey Bee Products website or by contacting DPIRD Agribusiness Development Consultant Gerard Leddin at gerard.leddin@dpird.wa.gov.au.  More...  Source & Photo:  DPIRD [2019 Hackathon participants Figge and Dani Boksjo, with sales and marketing manager Ishaan Bhatia (far right), showing some of the natural skin care products developed using local honey.]

WA signs MoU with a key economic zone in Vietnam

Western Australia's Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley participated in a virtual signing ceremony last week for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the People's Committee of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province in Vietnam.

With a population of nearly 100 million, a thriving economy, rapidly growing middle class and young population, Vietnam's dynamic economy provides WA with export opportunities for food, education, mining, and oil and gas services.

The Minister's four-day trip to Vietnam in April 2019 laid the groundwork for the MoU that will promote mutually beneficial co-operation in economic development, education and vocational training, and culture and the arts.

It will also provide a platform to engage meaningfully on economic co-operation, including annual trade delegations once international borders reopen.  More...  Source:  WA Minister for Asian Engagement  |  Related:  Vietnam market profile  Source:  Austrade  |  Vietnam country information  Source:  DFAT  |  WA waking up to Vietnam's opportunities  Source:  Kyle Springer, Perth USAsia Centre / WA Today |  Photo:  Kon Karampelas / Unsplash [Vũng Tàu, port city and capital of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, Vietnam]

Using FTAs to unlock multi-market opportunities in ASEAN

Wondering how benefits under Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) can help unlock opportunities for your business in ASEAN?

Join this digital seminar at 9am AWST next Wednesday 30 September 2020 to have these questions answered for you.

Hear from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade's overseas network on the benefits of FTAs, and the opportunities and insights in ASEAN for Australian businesses.  Also hear from two Australian exporters sharing their first-hand experience.

Visit the Free Trade Agreements seminars page to learn more about the series, listen to past recordings and view upcoming webinars.  More...  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Areza Pahlevi / Unsplash

Austrade's market insight for ASEAN region

In its latest market insight for the ASEAN region, Austrade reports there is an avocado shortage in Singapore. 

It also advises sales of Australian meat products in Singapore through e-commerce channels have improved during the COVID-19 period, with a shift in consumer habits towards higher and more frequent purchases online.

Austrade says Australian chilled food exporters report they are able to ship chilled foods to Singapore via airfreight weekly and without interruption, thanks to the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM). Exporters also say they are successfully shipping via seafreight fortnightly without interruption. 

For further assistance, please contact Austrade.   More...  |  Related:  Latest insights from Austrade Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  DPIRD

WAFIC announces new CEO

The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) has announced the appointment of Darryl Hockey as WAFIC’s new Chief Executive Officer.

WAFIC Chairman Murray Criddle said Mr Hockey's appointment follows a competitive nationwide search that attracted a large number of executive applicants representing a cross-section of industries.

"The Board is confident that Darryl’s mix of corporate, business and senior political advisor roles will serve the industry well as it continues to work its way through the impacts of COVID-19 and reshape to best meet the needs of members and position the industry as a key economic driver and regional development catalyst," Mr Criddle said.

"Darryl is a passionate advocate of establishing strategic partnerships and has served on Boards for major industry associations and regional development associations."   More...  Source & Photo: WAFIC [New WAFIC CEO Darryl Hockey]

FAO: AI in agriculture to bridge digital divide and tackle food insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), IBM and Microsoft, this week relaunched a commitment towards developing forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that are inclusive and promote sustainable ways to achieve food and nutrition security.

The online event, AI, Food for All. Dialogue and Experiencesfocused on concrete ways through which AI can contribute to achieving the goal of feeding an estimated global population of nearly 10 billion by 2050, and to do this while safeguarding natural resources and addressing challenges such as climate change and the impacts of shocks, including COVID-19.

The FAO said AI has an important role to play in transforming food systems and helping to address food and nutrition insecurity.  As e-agriculture technology advances rapidly, AI in farming is emerging in three major areas: agricultural robotics, soil and crop monitoring, and predictive analytics.  More...  Source:  FAO | Related:  Global trade in food and agricultural products more than doubles in last two decades Source:  FAO  |  How adopting new tech could drive Australia’s economic recovery  Source:  CSIRO |

WTO: Open trade and multilateral farm policy reforms vital for food security

Open international trade and continued reforms of agricultural trade policy will be critical to meeting global food security needs in the decade ahead while making land and water use more efficient, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff said this week at an event organised by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The online event brought together agriculture ministers and top officials from around the world to launch the FAO’s State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2020 report.

Mr Wolff spoke of the role of trade as a transmission mechanism for moving food from where it is abundant to where it is scarce, and the importance of trade policy – and the WTO framework of rules – as a means to create predictable and competitive market conditions for farmers.

He emphasised the right of farmers to benefit more fully from the global digital economy.  He said: "The e-commerce talks at the WTO that are currently under way are vitally important to all of those engaged in agriculture."  More...  | Related:  WTO launches Goods Schedules e-Library  |  Source & Photo:  WTO