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13 December 2022

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.

DPIRD trade activities return after COVID disruptions

Since international borders reopened to Western Australia in March after COVID-19 closures, trade activities organised by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have been fast returning to pre-COVID levels. Most of this year has seen DPIRD doubling down in its support for agribusiness in their efforts to reconnect with buyers, strengthen their market position, and take advantage of export opportunities.

DPIRD's Manager, Primary Industries Trade, Joan Lim, said that during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, DPIRD worked closely with state and federal partners – as well as industry groups – to develop effective promotional strategies, including using online tools, to showcase WA's world-class agrifood products.

"Since the borders opened, we have been quickly returning to face-to-face activities with an increasing number of inbound and outbound trade missions and activities, although we continue to use many of the online strategies refined during COVID to support WA exporters," Ms Lim said.

"Over the last nine months, DPIRD has supported more than 100 WA agrifood businesses to participate in overseas trade missions and inbound missions."

Ms Lim said that with the trade and supply chain disruptions caused by COVID and, more recently, the war in Ukraine – as well as the resulting increased costs – it has been a very challenging time for exporters.

"Through DPIRD support for WA exporters at market engagements such as the India Invest and Trade WA Mission in August, Singapore Food and Hotel Asia 2022 in September, SIAL Paris and United Kingdom market engagement in September in partnership with Austrade, and Asia Fruit Logistica Thailand in November, we are once again out there promoting the very best WA has to offer on the world stage," she said.

Inbound trade missions this year have included a Korean food and beverage media visit, buyers from several different overseas markets such as Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Working closely with federal, state and regional partners on a number of major market engagements, DPIRD activities planned for 2023 include Gulfood Dubai in February, FoodEx Japan in March, ThaiFex Anuga Asia in May, and taking Buy West Eat Best’s Plating Up WA to international markets.

For further information about these and other trade activities next year, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.auSource and Photo: DPIRD [Western Australian Premium Food and Beverage stand at Food Hotel Asia Singapore, September 2022.]

Multi-million dollar boost to help farm animals go high-tech

The Western Australian Government has announced $3.4 million to support the introduction of mandatory electronic identification (EID) for sheep and goats in the State. The funding will include new scanning infrastructure at saleyards and other key livestock congregation points and an electronic tag subsidy for producers.

It follows a recent virtual meeting of state, territory, and federal agriculture ministers, where they agreed to work towards the introduction of mandatory individual EID of sheep and goats in Australia by 1 January 2025.

EID allows for more efficient and accurate tracing of animals in the event of an emergency animal disease or food safety incident. It also provides enhanced traceability, which supports access to valuable export markets.  EID is already used in the cattle industry in Australia.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said WA’s sheep industry is reliant on exports, so we must have modern traceability systems in place to support access, and help promote our world-class production systems to markets. More... Source:  WA Minister for Agriculture and Food | Photo: DPIRD

Record level of Aussie agricultural exports to ASEAN

A record 22% of Australian agricultural exports went to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in 2021-22, an export snapshot from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has revealed. This has risen to 27% in July to September this year.

The Snapshot of agricultural export diversification to ASEAN says the ASEAN region includes some of the fastest growing countries in the world. Between 2011 and 2021, total ASEAN Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 43%, while total global GDP increased by 30%.

ASEAN’s increasingly wealthy and urbanised middle class are consuming a wider variety of higher value agricultural products, including meat, seafood, and wine. Australian seafood and wine exports to ASEAN have increased by $490 million since 2018-19 (up 80%).

Seafood exports have been driven by increased salmon production in Australia and the diversification of rock lobster exports. More... Source: DAFF | Photo: DPIRD

Export supply chain update – focus on sea freight

Strain on supply chains will continue for West and South Australian exporters cut off from much needed capacity on the east coast of Australia, as a result of recent flood damage closing key rail lines, according to the latest Austrade Export Supply Chain Snapshot.

Global sea freight schedule reliability improved significantly in October, coming in line with figures seen in 2020.  At 52%, reliability increased by 6.5% from September 2022. Despite global congestion improving, schedule reliability in Oceania remains flat with Asia to Oceania at only 26.1%, well below 2019 averages. This demonstrates that Australia continues to deal with various operational disruptions (delays and congestion at ports are a major factor).

The Export Supply Chain Service is an Austrade initiative to coordinate supply chain insights while connectivity to international markets remains volatile, capacity diminished and rates expensive. More... Source: Austrade | Photo: DPIRD [Port of Fremantle]

Sharing Aussie agricultural expertise

An Australian-born farmer has developed a commercial farm in Kenya as a demonstration of how conservation technologies can be successfully used to establish dryland farming with great potential in lower rainfall areas.

A descendant of a farming family in New South Wales, Stuart Barden and his wife Annie arrived in Kenya in 2010 and used their Australian farming expertise to quickly transform a 1101-hectare parcel of dry land – called AusQuest Farm – into a vast swathe of wheat, chickpea and green gram (mung bean) crops.

After seeing the boom-bust cycle of Kenya’s agriculture, where the country moves intermittently from high production to low yields, they wanted a farming system that buffers the variable weather common in Kenya. Their secret lies in the no-till technology and crop rotation, which ensure enough water underground, richer soil and more efficient use of fertiliser. 

“We use rain when it falls, store it in our soils and then use it at a later time to suit the crop cycle,” Mr Barden said. "There is so much unrealised potential in Kenyan agriculture. We don’t have a lack of water in Kenya but rather a lack of farming systems to utilise it.”

AusQuest Farm is focused on supplying quality fodder to dairy and beef farmers, growing speciality beans for local consumption and sharing knowledge on the production systems and techniques being used.

Mr Barden says AusQuest Farm – located in Machakos, 63 kilometres southeast of Nairobi – shares knowledge freely so that others don’t repeat the mistakes they make and can take the successes away as well.  

AusQuest is supported by Austrade and the Australian High Commission in Nairobi, to expand on their farming projects and to further develop partnerships with the Kenyan Government. Source: AusQuest Farm / Austrade | Related: Video: AusQuest Farm Kenya's Shared Learning Platform | Without breaking the soil, farmer turns dry land into grain basket Source: Nation, Kenya | Photo: AusQuest Farm [Stuart Barden hosting a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation facilitated visit of Ministry of Agriculture officials from the county government to AusQuest Farm.]

India International Seafood Show 2023

With the largest ever Western Australian trade delegation visiting India in July this year, and the passage of implementing legislation for the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement through the Australian Parliament last month, stronger trade ties – including in the seafood sector – are fast developing between WA and India.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA (CCIWA) Sustainable Commercial Fisheries Collaboration in India for Food Security project is also helping forge stronger links between the WA and India seafood sectors.

India – the fifth largest global economy with a 7% growth forecast for 2022 – is ranked the fourth largest capture fisheries producer in the world.  The India International Seafood Show (IISS) is one of the largest seafood fairs in Asia, a biennial event for exporters and importers of Indian marine products for various stakeholders of this sector such as producers, processors, processing machinery manufacturers, linkage sectors, and technical experts.

Taking place in Kolkata from 15 to 17 February 2023, IISS Overseas Delegate Registration costs US$212 and there are a limited number of stalls still available for overseas exhibitorsMore... Source:  IISS / World Economic Forum / IMF / FAO / CCIWA / DFAT | Image: IISS