The Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) is hoping that visits to Japan, Korea and the Philippines by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, will provide a timely opportunity for high level discussions that will reconvey the positive attributes of Australian beef to these key Asian markets.

CCA President, Keith Adams, said Truss’ trip from 24 January to 5 February was seen by the Australian beef industry as a very beneficial undertaking.

“Minister Truss and his Japanese counterpart, Tsutomu Takebe, have discussed ways to restore Japanese consumer confidence in beef products. Positive feedback was received from Minister Takebe regarding the health, safety, and quality of Australian beef.

“Taking around 28% of world beef imports, these three markets must be given the highest priority by Australia.

“Growth in north Asian demand for beef has been rapid over the past decade, aided by progressive liberalisation in the Korean market as well as an increasing market share for Australian live cattle exports. 

“While it was unfortunate that the Agricultural Ministerial Meeting involving the US, EU, Canada, Japan and Australia had to be rescheduled, the continuation of the Minister’s trip to Asia should provide optimism for Australian agricultural industries in the lead up to the WTO Round of discussions. We cannot afford to be supine.”