2016 Spring - Can Australia’s biosecurity standards survive in a free trade era?

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Farm Policy Journal: Vol 13 No 3 2016 Spring - Full Journal - Can Australia’s biosecurity standards survive in a free trade era?

Australian Farm Institute (2016), Can Australia’s biosecurity standards survive in a free trade era?, Farm Policy Journal: Vol 13 Number 3 - Spring 2016, Surry Hills, Australia
ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web)

$60.50


FPJ1303B - Richards, C & Higgins, V (2016), Trade Liberalisation and Australian Biosecurity: Opportunities and Challenges Under the ‘Shared Responsibility’ Approach

FPJ1303B - Richards, C & Higgins, V (2016), Trade Liberalisation and Australian Biosecurity: Opportunities and Challenges Under the ‘Shared Responsibility’ Approach, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 1-9, Surry Hills, Australia.

Since the breakdown of World Trade Organization ‘Doha Round’ trade negotiations in 2008, the shape of free trade agreements has radically changed. Mega-free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement bring Australia into new, major trade partnerships that encompass almost a billion of the world’s population and 40% of global Gross Domestic Product. Despite the opportunities for Australia’s export market, little is known about the potential challenges these FTAs present for national and sub-national biosecurity governance. This paper investigates whether Australia’s ‘shared responsibility’ approach, which devolves responsibility for biosecurity to key stakeholders, such as producers, is adequate in this new trade environment. The paper argues that in principle a greater sharing of responsibility enables improved engagement and participation by a broader range of stakeholders, leading to more effective post-border surveillance and a biosecurity system that is better positioned to respond to the risks posed by freer trade. However, in practice, pressure by influential trading partners, as well as corporations, to further liberalise trade may weaken Australian Government efforts to promote shared responsibility. This is likely to occur through opposition by producers to imports perceived to threaten their livelihoods, and increased tensions for industry bodies in advocating free trade whilst at the same time taking greater responsibility for biosecurity. In concluding, the paper argues that a shared responsibility approach may not be adequate in coping with this new agricultural trade environment, posing serious challenges for Australia’s biosecurity system.

$12.10


FPJ1303C - Plowman, K & Langstaff, I (2016), Do Free Trade Agreements Risk Australia’s High Biosecurity Standards?

FPJ1303C - Plowman, K & Langstaff, I (2016), Do Free Trade Agreements Risk Australia’s High Biosecurity Standards?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 11-21, Surry Hills, Australia.

Australia’s animal health status and biosecurity system are two of Australia’s greatest assets and the foundation that supports the future growth and wellbeing of our nation and people. If Australia is to maintain its reputation as a world leader in animal health and biosecurity management, robust biosecurity practices must remain a priority across all levels of government and throughout all levels of the industry supply chain – to succeed, shared responsibility must be practiced.
Although biosecurity continues to grow in importance, biosecurity funding is falling – placing the system under strain. Declining resources combined with greater levels of urbanisation, increased movement of people and goods, expansion and intensification of agriculture, and ongoing environmental pressures are providing more opportunities for the entry and spread of diseases, pests, and weeds, which threatens our ability to maintain our outstanding biosecurity position.
The World Organisation for Animal Health recently found Australia’s reputation, as a world leader in animal health and biosecurity systems, is justified. However, if we are to maintain and continue this success, Australia requires an evolving biosecurity system to meet the growing complexity of Australia’s biosecurity landscape; it needs a longer-term view of where we are heading, of resourcing and investment, research and adoption and the application of different approaches.
We need to look to the future, rather than focusing on the present, and be prepared to make a substantive leap in attitudes and the application of different approaches and strategies to protect and enhance our biosecurity.

$12.10


FPJ1303D - Chapman, T (2016), Where there is Export Opportunity there is Always a Biosecurity Risk… is Australian Horticulture Ready for Both?

FPJ1303D - Chapman, T (2016), Where there is Export Opportunity there is Always a Biosecurity Risk… is Australian Horticulture Ready for Both?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 23-31, Surry Hills, Australia.

Australia’s horticultural industry, represented by the Voice of Horticulture, regards biosecurity as crucial for its reputation as a sustainable producer of premium safe food. Biosecurity standards enable horticultural producers’ security of production (due to the absence of pests and diseases) and access to export markets. The opening up of free trade agreements allows Australian horticulture growers and exporters access to new markets. This does however have a flip side. As our markets open up, so do Australian domestic markets to other countries allowing horticultural products from around the world. This, along with increasing tourism to regional areas, can have impacts on biosecurity measures. The Voice of Horticulture believes that phytosanitary standards and quarantine procedures for market access need to be based on sound science for both imports and exports. To achieve this, a strong research, development and extension focus with investment and resources needs to be maintained. The current shared responsibility model of biosecurity needs to be well communicated through education, extension and execution to the grassroots horticultural communities. This is crucial, as these are the people who will notice signs of pest and diseases at a production level first. Economically, a failure of biosecurity can impact the producers/growers input costs, market access for exports, and have an impact on rural and regional communities. The Voice of Horticulture would like to see Australia maximising science and technology opportunities along with a broader understanding of biosecurity risks, consequences, responsibilities and benefits, delivered through extension, education and engagement. This is integral to improving Australia’s biosecurity operating environment, backed with an apolitical approach and supporting levels of policy and governance, with these measures Australia may have a chance of surviving in a free trade era.

$12.10


FPJ1303F - Mahar, T (2016), Can Australia’s Biosecurity Standards Survive in the Free Trade Era?

FPJ1303F - Mahar, T (2016), Can Australia’s Biosecurity Standards Survive in the Free Trade Era?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 45-50, Surry Hills, Australia.

As the peak lobby group for Australian farmers, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), has never encountered such potential for the agriculture sector. Increases in the new Asian middle class signal an increased demand for high quality, fresh food. Australia’s biosecurity reputation is paramount to Australia’s competitive advantage of producing clean and safe food, which is largely due to a long track record of strong biosecurity safeguards. Broadening trade agreements can generate greater prosperity in our rural and regional communities and the national economy. Free trade agreements will test Australia’s biosecurity systems at every level, incursions will become a reality.
The NFF advocate for a strong, robust and science-based approach to biosecurity with a broadening of community awareness through tailored communications and education with matching funding and resources. It supports government and private partnerships along with a commitment of strong investment in biosecurity research and development. Biosecurity is important for all Australians, not only the agriculture sector. What is needed is a cost-effective, sustainable and efficient biosecurity system which utilises innovation and technology.

$12.10


FPJ1303E - Adamson, D (2016), Pandora’s Box and the Level Playing Field: Food Safety and Regulations

FPJ1303E - Adamson, D (2016), Pandora’s Box and the Level Playing Field: Food Safety and Regulations, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 13, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 33-41, Surry Hills, Australia.

Australia is internationally regarded as providing a source of safe food. Australian trade policy has long chased the ideal of the level playing field, to allow our natural comparative advantage in food production to be fully realised. A central component of the Doha Round of trade talks was to tackle agricultural subsidies and protectionism, but these talks have not reached consensus since starting in 2001. To negate this stagnation, countries including Australia have engaged in a series of side agreements.
However, these deals extend well beyond the notion of providing additional market access for agricultural producers, as they are designed to increase economic integration between the signatories. To encourage integration, these treaties are examining ways of harmonising the rules of business within the signatories.
If Australian regulations are different, and we are known as providing a source of safe food, is there any risk associated with adopting new regulations? This article provides a discussion on the role of regulations in Australia, and explores the possible consequences for Australian food exporters from adopting new and more relaxed regulations.

$12.10


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