Capital Fund

How can Australian agriculture achieve better international market access?

For a nation with an agricultural sector that depends on exports, Australia has a very ordinary track record when it comes to securing better access to international markets. While competitors such as New Zealand, the United States (US) and Canada have negotiated preferential trade access to major markets, Australia is still mired in endless rounds of negotiations, some of which commenced more than a decade ago.

The reason Australia’s agricultural trade performance is so poor, is that Australian Government negotiators are torn between the interests of different sectors of the economy, and the manufacturing, services and mining sectors are much better at convincing the government to protect their interests.

To turn this around, the Australian agriculture sector needs to convince governments and the community about the benefits better agricultural trade access could bring to agriculture, food manufacturing and regional Australia. This requires high quality economic research and information, and a sustained effort over a number of years – all of which costs money.

It is for purposes like this that the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) has established the AFI Capital Fund, and you can help support efforts to obtain better international market access for Australian agriculture by contributing to the fund.

Contributing to the AFI Capital Fund is one very concrete way of ensuring that credible and objective information is available on these issues, and can be used to ensure policy-makers understand that improved agricultural trade access is an urgent priority.

Please contact the Institute if you or your organisation can help with a financial contribution.