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Food and fibre takes centre stage at ASA 100 meeting

31 July 2014

Positioning Australia as a primary food and fibre provider to China was a key focus at the Australia-Sino Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership (ASA 100) meeting held in Sydney today.

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President, Brent Finlay joined business and government leaders from Australia at the inaugural meeting to discuss the significant opportunities available in agriculture between Australia and China.

“The prospects for growth in agriculture are huge, with the need to feed, clothe and house a growing world population. China’s population will continue to expand to over 1.3 billion by 2050, driving demand for safe, high-quality food and fibre. Australia is well placed to help supply this demand,” said Mr Finlay.

“However, as this prospect grows, so does the need to coordinate an industry-wide approach to China and other markets—a view the NFF has long held. We believe a collaborative approach is crucial to our sector’s future, particularly as we reach the pointy end of a trade agreement with China.

“Australian farmers have a clear competitive advantage when it comes to Asia, due to our proximity to the region and our reputation as a safe, reliable and competitive provider of food and fibre products. But to make this a reality, we must build a cooperative approach across Government and industry which is based on real commercial outcomes from the bilateral trade agreement,” said Mr Finlay.

Today’s ASA 100 meeting is an important milestone bringing together a range of key agricultural stakeholders to have an initial discussion on the strategy to grow the Australian farming and agribusiness industry and allow it the opportunity to contribute strongly ‐ as it has in years past ‐ to the growth of the Australian economy.

“The NFF welcomes the opportunity to be part of the discussion in what is an exciting period for agriculture in Australia,” said Mr Finlay.

The ASA 100 comprise of 50 agribusiness leaders from Australia and 50 from China to meet annually. Members also include federal, state and territory ministers, and representatives from the agricultural, food processing and distribution sectors.

Media Enquiries: Tony Mahar on 02 6269 5666, 0408 448 250,

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