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8 May 2020

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

This weekly newsletter is produced by the Agribusiness Food and Trade Directorate of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.  Please email export@dpird.wa.gov.au if you have any questions or information to share.  New subscribers should click here to register for this newsletter.

India opens its doors for Aussie malt barley

Last week India officially gazetted its acceptance of phosphine fumigation for Australian malt barley exports, the treatment method preferred by the Australian grain industry.

This follows Australian negotiations with India led by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, supported by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the grain industry.

In June 2018, and again in October 2019, DPIRD – with support from the Grain Industry Association of WA – developed visit programs to WA for India's Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare to gain support for acceptance of phosphine fumigation as an effective treatment for Australian malt barley exports to India, and promotion of the WA export grain supply chain.

This is a positive outcome for WA grain exporters, achieved through government and industry collaboration at the national and state level.

To create market pull, the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC), jointly funded by DPIRD, has been investing in understanding the dynamics, technical and quality requirements of the Indian market for barley.

AEGIC market insights have revealed that India maltsters and brewers are eager to source Australian barley again because they know that imported product provides greater yields of many quality attributes, including malt extract and diastatic power, in addition to the economic savings from a more uniform product.

India's beer market is growing with strong potential for increased WA barley exports.  More…  Source:  DPIRD /Grain Central  |  Related: New 500,000 tonne market on offer as India opens its doors for Aussie malt barley  Source: The Land  |  Beer, whisky to get cheaper as India relaxes norms for importing Australian malt barley  Source:  The Print, India  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Australian produce flying back to export markets

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) is up and away, with several IFAM-supported flights now operational.

More than 560 Australian businesses have registered their interest in using the IFAM and agreements for 300 freight flights have been secured to date.

Exporters should submit an Expression of Interest to access IFAM flights.

Further information on how IFAM works, and for the latest flight information and schedules, please visit the IFAM web pageMore...  Source:  IFAM  |  Related: Sky high demand for international freight flights  Source:  Australian Financial Review [paid subscription]  |  New flights to get seafood exports moving again  |  Lift off for South Australian produce  Source:  Federal Minister for Trade |  Experiencing delays in your shipping to China?  Source: STAG  |  Photo:  Air Cargo News

Researchers start unlocking WA’s tropical rock oyster potential

Western Australia has reached the first milestone in a research project to grow the tropical rock oyster industry across northern Australia.

Researchers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have successfully bred a Black Lip Rock Oyster, an emerging species for Australia, which has great potential to grow the industry.

In November last year, DPIRD received $570,000 as part of a Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia three-year project to develop the industry in WA and the Northern Territory.

The research aims to develop standard guidelines for the shellfish industry and potential investors on the most suitable tropical rock oyster species to grow in northern Australia, and the best techniques to farm them.

WA has reached its first research milestone by using brood stock collected from Cone Bay in the Kimberley to breed the species in DPIRD's Hillarys marine shellfish hatchery.  More...  Source:  WA Minister for Fisheries  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Sustainable tuna success as demand soars

Sales of certified sustainable tuna have more than doubled in the last five years, according to a new report published by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to mark United Nations World Tuna Day on 2 May.

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a recent surge in demand for canned tuna, the MSC is urging both seafood producers and seafood lovers to continue their commitment to sustainable tuna.

Australia leads the world in sales of tuna with the globally recognised MSC blue fish tick, accounting for 24 per cent of worldwide sales. More than 13,000 tonnes of MSC-labelled tuna were sold in Australia in 2018-19, up from just over 5,000 tonnes in 2015-16. 

Western Australia’s Western rock lobster fishery was the first fishery in the world to attain MSC certification in 2000.  It was re-certified to the MSC standard for the fourth time in 2017 and now nine WA fisheries carry the MSC eco-label.  More…  Source: MSC / DPIRD  |  Photo:  MSC

Rural West: Helping primary producers get through tough times

For over a decade Rural West has been successfully working with Western Australian primary production enterprises to get through difficult and turbulent times.

Funded by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, it provides practical, proven strategies to help refocus businesses, create solutions and regain financial control.

In this webinar from last Friday, Rural West Financial Counsellor Chris Puckridge speaks with vegetablesWA Chief Executive Officer John Shannon about strategies to remain profitable and moving beyond COVID-19 through a business health check, a good business plan and financial structure, and managing risk.  More…  Source: vegetablesWA / Rural West  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Appetite for Aussie foodstuffs strong in ASEAN region

While Singapore’s COVID-19 measures are stable and Malaysia moves to easing, traders across Southeast Asia are wrestling with severely dislocated supply chains, Austrade reports in its latest market insights.

Ports are clearing container backlogs, but air freight is precarious. The appetite for Australian foodstuffs – especially soft fruits and vegetables – remains healthy, including in Thailand.

In Malaysia, food and beverage importers who have shifted products to e-commerce platforms report strong sales.  More…  Source & Photo: Austrade

COVID-19 disrupts Indonesia's food imports

The economic impacts of COVID-19 are beginning to bite in Jakarta and more broadly in the major cities in Indonesia, according to a report just released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

The Indonesian government has responded with stimulus packages, however the broad scale loss of jobs and business restrictions will have a growing impact on the Indonesian economy and the demand for food.

The ABARES report says these impacts have the potential to reduce demand for Australian exports and raise food security concerns for Indonesia’s most vulnerable.

Indonesia is Australia’s sixth largest market for agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports, worth $2.6 billion in 2018-19, and comprising a mix of staple and discretionary high-value food products.   More...  Source: ABARES  |  Photo:  USINDO

COVID-19 impact on global fisheries and aquaculture food systems

Although COVID-19 does not affect fish, the fish sector is still subject to indirect impacts of the pandemic through changing consumer demands, market access or logistical problems related to transportation and border issues, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) said in a report released last week.

This has had a damaging effect on fishers and fish farmers’ livelihoods, as well as on food security and nutrition for populations that rely heavily on fish for animal protein and essential micronutrients.

The FAO says the fish and fishery products sector is particularly reliant on the food service sectors, and this is highly affected by changes in food services.

Panic buying of food has reportedly benefited the sale of prepacked, frozen or canned fish or fish products, but these may not be able to continue supplying the market if the raw materials are not available, and because of other logistical problems.  More…  Source: FAO  |  Photo:  WTO

Pandemic forcing a new way of business for food and agriculture

In this time of COVID-19, food producers have been dealing with a level of uncertainty that was not imagined.

Changing consumer patterns, food service shutdowns and supply chain disruption are just some of the challenges.

Today (Friday 8 May 2020) at 9 am AWST, Bisnis Asia is running a webinar to discuss the changes and the opportunity to adapt.

Guest speakers are Michael Rogers of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance and Andrew Hudson, Director of the Export Council of AustraliaRegister here for the event.  More... Source: Bisnis Asia  | Photo:  DPIRD

Role of e-commerce during COVID-19

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has published a new report on how COVID-19 has affected e-commerce, including the implications for cross-border trade.

The report notes the increased use of e-commerce as consumers adapt to lockdowns and social distancing measures and draws attention to several challenges, such as the need to bridge the digital divide within and across countries.

The experiences and lessons emerging from the COVID-19 crisis could be a further incentive for global co-operation in the area of e-commerce, the WTO report says, which could help facilitate cross-border movement of goods and services, narrow the digital divide, and level the playing field for small businesses.  More...  Source & Photo:  WTO