The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has reiterated the importance of ratifying the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) within the 2015
calendar year, to ensure the benefits can reach Australian producers as quickly as possible.
Any delay in implementation of the deal beyond 31 December 2015 will cost Australian dairy between $20 million and $60 million in tariffs. This will make
it more difficult for the Australian industry to compete and gain further market share.
ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said while the council recognised that debate about the ChAFTA is part and parcel of a vibrant democracy, the Parliament needed
to keep in mind the opportunities at stake for agriculture and food production.
“For Australian dairy to grow and invest in our future profitability, we will require markets that offer a way forward and match our progress,” Mr Campbell
“China’s population is set to reach 1.6 billion by 2050 offering enormous opportunity to sustainably grow beyond domestic markets. Our opportunity in China
is underpinned by their demand for high quality, safe, value-added products such as infant formula.
Mr Campbell reiterated that parliamentary support for the agreement, that sees the removal of all tariffs on dairy imports over a decade, remains essential.
“With a long record of innovation and adaptation to changing conditions and markets, Australia’s dairy producers are in a strong position to meet the particular
demands of boosting exports to China and growing our market share,” Mr Campbell explained.
The Australian dairy industry has had a long and close relationship with China and ChAFTA will allow our industries to further develop this long-term relationship
to the mutual benefit of both countries.
Timing is of the essence. If farmers are to maximise benefits from the removal of tariffs then the deal must be implemented in this calendar year.”
The ADIC looks forward to working with both sides of Government to ensure the implementation of the ChAFTA by 31 December 2015.