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4 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.

IFAM flights reopen overseas markets for WA lobster

The biggest player in Australia’s largest single fishery says the Federal Government's International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), which has supported high-value, time sensitive and perishable exports since April, has saved hundreds of jobs in WA.

Without IFAM, Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-Operative (GFC) says its stocks of Western rock lobster would have had no way of getting into international markets. GFC is also the largest processor and exporter of rock lobsters in the world, responsible for the majority of WA's half a billion dollars of product sold overseas annually.

"No market access means no supply chain and no jobs for our hundreds of staff, fishers and associated businesses spread over a thousand kilometres of WA's coastline," GFC CEO Matt Rutter said.

"We're incredibly grateful for the Federal Government's swift and commercial response in helping keep the seafood export sector afloat and people in jobs during these challenging times," Mr Rutter said.

GFC said that all fishing and export activity paused for over four weeks as a result of China’s COVID-19 lockdown in January this year. Having one of WA's largest export markets effectively close overnight meant lobster stock had to be redistributed to other export and domestic markets.

"Around mid-March this year, the Chinese market appeared to be coming out the other side of their lockdown and tentative green shoots of demand began to surface. Unfortunately, international passenger flights were also slashed at this time," Mr Rutter said.

"The majority of our exports are sent to China in the belly of commercial aircraft and in a fast-moving supply chain it typically three to four days from boat to market.

“However, with passenger aircraft grounded, a market demand issue had evolved into a supply chain issue,” Mr Rutter said.

IFAM has committed to support over 90,000 tonnes of exports to 65 international destinations between April and October.  Notably, the returning aircraft would return with medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to help fight the COVID-19 virus.

New and extended IFAM flight capacity on numerous routes with Qantas have just been announced, including a new stop in Perth on the Melbourne to Singapore route.  Full details on the latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website.  Source:  GFC / IFAM  |  Photo:  GFC [Western rock lobster exports being prepared by GFC for one of the first IFAM flights out of Perth.]

Virtual masterclass to help boost financial literacy

Western Australian businesses are encouraged to register for the second in a series of virtual masterclasses aimed at helping business owners navigate the steps involved in the capital-raising process.

Masterclass 2 – starting on 9 September 2020 – is on improving financial literacy.

DPIRD has contracted consulting firm BDO Australia to present these masterclasses which are to benefit and support WA's small and medium-sized enterprises.

The online workshops will help businesses realise growth opportunities that are dependent on access to external funding.  More...  Source & Graphic:  DPIRD / BDO  

WA's agrifood industry innovators on show

Over 100 people attended the HARVEST 2020 Innovation Showcase event in Perth this week, marking the completion of this year’s program, which is sponsored by DPIRD.

The HARVEST Agrifood Innovation Program supports start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the agrifood industry looking to develop and commercialise innovative new products or technologies.

Presenting and exhibiting their products at the showcase event included technology businesses:

•  Catel - an online financial trading platform for farmers
•  Exagro – developing robotics for horticulture
•  Stellular – developing satellite based digital connectivity in regional areas.

Food innovators at the event included:

•  Gelavo – developing dairy free ice-cream products
•  Hippie Food Co – producing premium Kombucha beverages and several malt, craft beer and granola producers;
•  Cowaramup Brewing Company, which received a $72,000 grant from DPIRD's Value Added Investment grants last year towards a canning line and fermenting tank to increase production capacity.  They also participated in the program as they are developing a separate new venture to create new uses from the waste products of the beer production process.

When the companies gave their pitches to the audience, it was clear that they are all passionate about supporting WA farmers and place a lot of importance on sustainable business practices.

WA's Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan spoke about the need for innovation in the agrifood sector.  She said “... since the beginning of human civilisation, agriculture has been the sole focus of innovation up until about 500 years ago. It’s certainly not the time to stop now.”  More...  Source & Photo:  DPIRD

WA casts online net to catch new seafood exports

The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) is taking advantage of video-conference technology and changing market conditions to secure new export opportunities and business partners for the State’s commercial seafood industry.

The inaugural Western Australian Virtual Seafood Showcase – jointly managed by Austrade in Taipei and WAFIC in Fremantle – was held last Friday.

It brought together eight of the State’s successful seafood exporters for a series of one-on-one presentations and business-matching sessions with dozens of Taiwan’s leading seafood importers.  More...  Source & Photo:  WAFIC

Survey: How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing impact has increased the relevance and urgency for building resilience in global trade and supply chains.

Austrade, on behalf of Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA), invites you to complete this 20-minute online survey.  Your views are important for helping understand the trade and supply chain impacts of COVID-19.

You will have the opportunity to: 

1.  Raise awareness of the barriers you face in conducting business across borders
2.  Tell government your views on the most effective solutions in overcoming barriers
3.  Influence the development of more effective trade policy in promoting connectivity.

 More... Source:  Austrade / GTPA  | Photo:  Austrade

Austrade: Australian agriculture truly world-leading

Leading the world in efficiency, technology and environmental credibility has helped Australian farmers attract investment from around the world, and secure new customers for clean, green produce in Asia’s premium food markets, according to Austrade.

In its new Why Australia Benchmark Report 2020 statement, Austrade says Australian food and fibre exports rose to almost $50 billion in 2019.  Of Australia’s 15 top food markets, 12 are in the Asian region, and they account for approximately three-quarters of the nation’s agrifoods exports.

With a reputation for high agricultural standards and a well-regulated food industry, Australian produce commands premium prices in Asia.  Australia’s network of regional free trade agreements also gives Australian growers preferential access to Asian markets. 

Now in its 20th year, the report provides a wide range of economic and financial data that demonstrates why there is no better partner for trade, investment and collaboration than Australia.  More...  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Webinar: Market opportunities and entry strategies in Southeast Asia

Amid global uncertainties, it seems like nothing can stop the growth of Southeast Asia.  Fast-growth markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines –as well as the region’s hub Singapore – are at the forefront of that growth, attracting companies from all over the world to expand and benefit from the opportunities presented by the large size of the young populations.

To illustrate the opportunities in Southeast Asia, on 9 September 2020 at 5pm AWST Austrade will bring together a panel of experts to discuss: industry trends and foreign direct investment; incorporation requirements like licensing, company structure options, and paid-up capital requirements; opportunities emerging through COVID-19; government support for new entrants or industries.

Australian businesses looking to expand or invest into Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, should attend this free online eventMore...  |  Related:  Austrade Insights: Consumer Goods – The Product Registration Process in Indonesia  |  Source & Photo:  Austrade

Austrade: E-commerce trend sparks new opportunities in South Asia

A growing appetite and enthusiasm for e-commerce creates good scope for Australian companies wanting to diversify their export markets to the South Asia region, Austrade reports in its latest market insight.

Even during COVID-19 lockdowns, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – with their fast-evolving retail ecosystems and strong trade relationships with Australia – remain strong importers of Australian processed food and agricultural products.

Austrade says the rapid shift to e-commerce gives Australian companies a more effective route to market than ever before.

Additionally, e-commerce platforms provide Australian companies with the chance to test products in the region without making a significant up-front investment.

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

2021 Nuffield Australia scholarships closing soon

Applications are closing next week for the 2021 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships, a unique program that awards primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel and study an agricultural or fisheries topic of choice.  There are more than 20 scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000.

Nuffield Scholarships have been running for 70 years. Scholars are selected annually on merit as people who are committed and passionate about farming or fishing, are at the leading edge of technology uptake, and are potential future leaders in the industry.

Albertus Hanekom, a Western Australian who was awarded a 2020 Nuffield Scholarship – funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation – is allowing him to research pathways for the aquaculture and barramundi industries to grow more seafood and better manage stock levels.

To be awarded a scholarship, an application must be submitted by 11 September 2020, the interview process is held later this year, and the scholarship commences in 2021.  Scholars undertake 14 weeks of research over two years.  Applicants must be aged between 28 and 45, although exceptional candidates outside this age range will be considered.  More... Source:  Nuffield  |  Photo:  Albertus Hanekom [Cone Bay]

Rabobank: New forces shaping future UK beef imports

New post-Brexit trade deals could challenge Ireland’s position as the major beef supplier to the United Kingdom (UK), offering potential opportunities for alternative exporters including Australia, according to Rabobank’s Q3 2020 Global Beef Quarterly report.

Ireland is currently by far the dominant supplier of beef to the UK, the report says, representing 70 per cent of total UK beef imports in 2019.  But the UK is also pursuing new trade deals with countries outside the European Union, including major beef exporters such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Rabobank senior animal protein analyst Angus Gidley-Baird says the UK represents a big, high-value beef export market.

“Once outside the European bloc, we expect it to become the fifth or sixth largest beef-importing country in the world,” he said.

“The new trade deals under negotiation could challenge Ireland’s position in UK beef imports if the deals open the possibility of broader low or no-tariff access to the UK market for these other beef exporters.”   More...  Source:  Rabobank  |  Photo:  DPIRD