FARM lobby group, GrainGrowers, is calling for an immediate and full elimination of all tariffs on grains and processed grain products as Australia and the European Union (EU) sit down to trade agreement negotiations.
The EU is an important market for the Australian grains industry, valued at over A$1.1billion.
This is driven primarily by the export of Australian canola for use in the European biodiesel sector.
Up to 90 per cent of Australian canola in recent years has been exported to Europe.
Despite this existing relationship, Australian grain, oilseed and pulse producers and exporters face high tariffs which is a barrier to trade.
Australia’s processed cereal grain products, that include wheat flour and gluten, face prohibitive tariffs that can range from 35pc to 50pc.
Unprocessed pulses face tariffs of around 3pc, while Australian wheat and barley incur tariffs of around €95/t, equivalent to more than 50pc.
“It is essential for our growers that tariffs on grains and processed grain products are eliminated so we are able to supply the quality Australian produce that is internationally recognised,” GrainGrowers chairman, Brett Hosking, said.
He said GrainGrowers believed there was currently an opportunity to strengthen relations between Australia and the EU through the trade agreement negotiations.
In addition to eliminating tariff barriers, it is also essential that non-tariff measures like chemical regulations or environmental requirements don’t restrict or add additional costs to trading between the two regions.
“Australian growers work hard to ensure resilient and sustainable farming practices appropriate for our environment and soil conditions are in place and it is important that Australian grain trade is not inhibited by unreasonable non-tariff barriers. The Australian Government must work hard to ensure there are tangible positive outcomes for the Australian grains industry from this agreement,” Mr Hosking said.
View GrainGrowers submission: https://www.graingrowers.com.au/graingrowers-submission-australia-eu-free-trade-agreement/