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Farm Institute Insights, Vol. 10, No. 2, May 2013

Does proximity to Asia breed complacency for agricultural trade?

There has been a great deal of discussion during recent times about Australia's proximity to Asia, and how the projected boom in Asian middle-class demand for food will bring major benefits for Australian agriculture. A common feature of any discussion of this issue by policy-makers is the fact that the projected boom in food demand will occur in our region or in Australia's neighbourhood, the inference being that it is inevitable that Australian agriculture has a competitive advantage in these markets due to geography. In effect, proximity to Asia seems to have encouraged complacency for agricultural trade.

The Asian Century White Paper, released by the Australian Government in October 2012, analyses the dynamics of Australian businesses dealing in Asian markets and discusses the major issues with trade negotiations in that region. The White Paper promotes the regional opportunities for Australia's farmers but also acknowledges some weaknesses in the performance of the government in supporting the regional trade of Australian agricultural products. (more)

In the Pipeline

The Australian Farm Institute is planning the creation of an online portal for major Australian agricultural sectors, including global supply, demand and trade dynamics. (more)


Supermarkets, do more rules equal better data? Australia is the world's most concentrated food market and the need for transparency along the supply chain is the key issue for food retail. (more)

In My View

John Cobb MP and Senator Christine Milne discuss the regulatory role of the Federal Government in coal seam gas facility approvals. (more)

Readers are invited to continue the discussion on the Institute’s blog. 

Crossing the Divide

A new app supposedly helps consumers shop ethically – but by whose standards? (more)

Farm Policy News

In this edition, Farm Policy News examines the Common Agricultural Policy for 2014–20; a new trade agreement with China; Woolworths' plan to buy directly from dairy farmers; forecasts of  soaring global rice production; and the US drought. (more)

Institute Activities

An upcoming Institute conference will explore the state of Australian research, development and extension (RD&E). The conference, Australian Agricultural Innovation Systems at the Crossroads, will be held at the Hotel Realm, Canberra, on the 29th and 30th of May.

The Institute has recently been quoted in the media on the topics of foreign investment, productivity growth, and Australian agricultural trade with Asia. (more)

Images:  Pedro Angelini, Francisco Anzola, Robert Couse-Baker, Jeremy Buckingham MLC, James Cridland, Deniliquin Newspapers, GabrielaP93, ipostcodes, Mick Keogh, Lock the Gate Alliance, Moira McDade, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Gaétane Potard, James Trosh, USDA, Jennifer Wu

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