by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
34 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 Market Access The PGA welcomes this year's "Muster" theme of Market Access. Maintaining access to overseas markets is vital to take advantage of Australia's comparative advantage in suitable land available for the grazing of livestock, superior knowledge in animal husbandry and breeding practices, transport logistics and infrastructure, and proximity to Asian markets. The PGA supports a free market system without the government interventions that distort markets, such as tariffs and taxes or other trade barriers like quotas on imports or subsidies for producers. However, market access to another country's economy is only possible with that country's consent. The PGA notes that many of Australia's trading partners have concluded bilateral free trade agreements which have resulted in trade diversion away from Australia's efficient primary producers to higher cost producers. Consequently, Australia's best trade policy is domestic economic reform designed to boost the productivity and international competitiveness of Australian businesses. The removal of unnecessary regulations and the streamlining of burdensome regulations are incumbent on government if productivity is to be improved. Productivity gains are well understood to all primary producers. Increasing outputs without increasing inputs has been one Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia The PGA was established in 1907 and represents progressive meat and wool producers in both the pastoral and agricultural regions of Western Australia. of the great success stories of Australian agriculture. Market access is typically seen to be the province of negotiations at the national government level. However, internal regulation applied by both the Commonwealth and state governments can and does add to the costs of running a farm business enterprise. In the Western Australian context 73% of the state's livestock production is exported, and of this, 48% of exported animal and meat products are live sheep and sheep meats. It is therefore imperative that government regulation is cost effective and must not act as an impediment to market access by increasing compliance costs that would reduce the competitive position of Western Australian farmers by comparison with their global counterparts. Livestock Export The implementation of and compliance with the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) has closed markets for the live export of sheep, in particular some African breeds. The lack of competition in the local market from buyers of sheep for live export has also resulted in overall lower prices being offered. Animal Welfare The release of the public consultation Regulatory Impact Statement for animal welfare standards and guidelines for sheep is an example of the hidden cost of government regulation on an agricultural sector dependent on export. As the consultation RIS says, there is an inherent inability to quantify benefits to animal welfare, yet sheep farmers will be expected to pay to implement them. NLIS The recent "Report of PIMC Working Group on NLIS (Sheep and Goats) To Standing Council on Primary Industries" focused on identifying the technical, logistical and commercial barriers to the introduction of an electronic technology system. Seemingly there was no recognition of the implications of the additional costs of a mandatory electronic based system on export competitiveness. As more than half of the sheep in Western Australia are exported live and almost 100% of the Western Australian goat export industry is to non EU countries, electronic tags are not necessary to maintain market penetration. For further information www.pgaofwa.org.au