Paving The Way To Free Trade Between Australia And The UK
With the recent free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and Australia paving the way for increased trading between the two markets, Mark Field of Prof Group analyses what this will mean in practice.
Australian food growers, producers and manufacturers enjoy an enviable global reputation for creativity, innovation, cleanliness and safety. Thanks to a diverse growing climate, advanced production capabilities and a rich history, the industry has gone from strength to strength in recent decades. Now, that's set to skyrocket.
Why? It’s all thanks to the recent news that tariff-free Tim Tams will soon be enjoyed by the Poms. We’re talking, of course, about the historic, in-principle free trade agreement (FTA) – secured with elbow bumps instead of handshakes – between Australia and Britain. Announced in June, the agreement opens the door to new opportunities for local food producers and manufacturers.
This, along with the federal government’s announcement earlier this year that it is channelling $1.5 billion into a Modern Manufacturing Strategy, means the time is ripe for the entire industry to broaden its horizons and consider new markets.
Kickstarting Global Growth
Food and beverage is one of six focus industries within the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, “Close proximity to Asian markets and a reputation as a trusted exporter of premium goods has led to the food and beverage sector becoming the largest manufacturing sector for the Australian economy.”
By investing in continued growth, all players within the industry can potentially become more innovative and compete on a global scale. Specifically, the goal is to support projects that will transform the sector by growing a high-value, reputable and dynamic food and beverage manufacturing industry.
From dairy to meat products, gluten-free breads to seafood products, the possibilities are enormous and stakeholders have a real opportunity to tap into the funding, grow their on-shore capabilities, and prepare for expansion into new markets – like the UK.
Liberalising Trade With The UK
Following the June announcement of the FTA, you can safely bet that UK’s biggest supermarkets and retailers will be taking a good look at what’s on offer from Australia. Thanks to our global reputation for clean, safe and premium quality products, Australian brands naturally appeal to UK consumers – and UK businesses have a great opportunity to look Down Under for exciting new brands to support their growth.
For products entering UK, key commitments in the agreement include:
- Increasing TRQ volumes of beef over the next 10 years
- Increasing TRQ volumes of sheep meat over the next 10 years
- Eliminating tariffs on sugar over 8 years
- Eliminating tariffs on dairy over 5 years
These commitments and more will help Australian producers gain access to the UK market. And, as consumers become increasingly discerning – demanding to know about food providence, sustainability, quality and value – the opportunities will only grow.
For more information, visit the Prof Group website.