Meat & Livestock News

Victorian Farmers Federation Opposes Australian-European Free Trade Agreement

Container cargo for import export business and check hand , 3d rendering

As reported by the VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has voiced its concerns over the proposed Australian-European Free Trade Agreement, stating that it would be detrimental to Victorian agriculture. The VFF has urged the Albanese Government not to sign the agreement, labelling it as unfavourable for the state’s farmers.

VFF President, Emma Germano, has called on Trade Minister Don Farrell to refrain from endorsing the agreement during the G7 Trade Minister’s Meeting.

She emphasised that the deal should only be considered if it brings about substantially improved conditions for the farmers of Victoria. Ms Germano remarked, “This is a dud deal with Victorian farmers being asked to give up a lot, whilst receiving little in return.”

The primary concern is that the current deal does not provide meaningful market access and imposes unjust restrictions on domestic production.

Ms Germano highlighted the potential adverse effects on Victoria’s dairy sector, noting that the agreement could significantly impact dairy farmers who contribute to over 70% of the country’s dairy exports by value.

The proposed rules around geographical indicators could hamper not only domestic production but also the export of products to other key trading partners, especially in the vital Asian market.

Victoria holds the distinction of being the nation’s largest agricultural exporter. The state’s food and fibre exports are valued at over $17.9 billion, playing a pivotal role in both the Victorian and regional economies.

Ms Germano concluded by stressing the importance of agriculture in the government’s negotiations. She stated, “Agriculture must be front and centre of the government’s negotiations, and if Minister Farrell is unable to secure a sound deal for us, he should keep the signing pen in his pocket.”