GrainGrowers welcomed news that the European Commission has given the green light to commence Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the European Union and Australia.
GrainGrowers’ Trade and Economics Manager Luke Mathews said the EU is Australia’s largest canola export market and that a FTA would underpin ongoing strength in the relationship between the two economies.
“Australia has exported on average 1.6 million tonnes of canola to Europe in recent years, worth more than AUD$900 million per annum. In 2016 Europe accounted for 87 per cent of total Australian canola exports,” Mr Mathews said.
“Maintaining and expanding this trade with Europe is of critical importance to Australian farmers.”
GrainGrowers urges the Australian Government to negotiate a comprehensive and high-quality trade agreement with the EU that improves market access and facilitates efficient trade.
“The FTA needs to reinforce support for an effective rules-based trading system,” said Mr Mathews
“It is crucial that all non-tariff measures that are put in place to protect ecoysystems and plant and animal health are based on sound science and existing international standards.”
Mr Mathews said that opening new export market opportunities for Australian grains and reducing distortions in global markets were key priorities for GrainGrowers.
“We urge the Australian Government to ensure that agriculture is at the heart of the negotiations.”