A major technical barrier to trade that is estimated to have cost industry up to $60 million per year has been lifted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), through the extension of the accepted shelf life for Australian vacuum-packed beef and sheep meat.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed this breakthrough as an excellent result for Australian farmers, exporters and the entire industry.
Michael McCormack, Minister for Small Business and Member for Riverina, also saw it as a great result for the Riverina region, home to highly-regarded beef and sheep abattoirs.
Mr Joyce said the Government would continue to champion more and expanded global trade opportunities as a key plank in making agriculture more profitable.
“The UAE is Australia’s biggest market in the Middle East for agricultural exports, with sheep meat and beef worth $295.8 million to our bottom line,” Minister Joyce said.
“The increased shelf life, from 90 days to 120 for vacuum-packed beef meat and from 70 days to 90 days for sheep meat, will give the industry more flexibility, drive down freight costs and increase demand when sending Australia’s premium products overseas.
“The Government has been working with industry, particularly Meat and Livestock Australia, to advocate for an increased shelf life for meat by providing the commercial and scientific justification to satisfy the UAE.
“This is another in a long line of market access wins for Australia.
“The UAE is a sophisticated importer and re-exporter of food products and a food distribution hub for other markets in the region.
“Shelf life remains a trade barrier in other Middle East countries, with a total cost to industry of up to $86 million each year.
“We will use the UAE’s leadership and reputation to push for change in shelf life in other countries in the region.”
Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, said the Government is doing all it can to drive profits back through the farm-gate, on the back of the opportunities presented by trade deals and market access gains we have secured.
“Australia produces some of the world’s best agricultural goods, which has helped us maintain a significant share of valuable import markets like the UAE, and ensures stronger farm-gate returns for our farmers,” Mr McCormack said.
Source: Australian Government