Expenditures and Activities of
Cairns Group Countries
Australia’s international competitiveness is linked to improvements in productivity and producers’ ability to respond to market signals. Emphasis is given to the development of nearby Asian markets, and to high- value and quality-differentiated bulk products. Exports account for a significant portion of the value of agricultural production, over 70 percent for many commodities, and the focus of government and industry attention is on the export market. Australia is seeking to promote itself as a "Clean - Green" producer.
Australia does not directly subsidize agricultural exports. Some statutory marketing authorities practice differential pricing. Australia does provide low-cost financing to support export activities, to assist in the identification of market opportunities, and to develop export strategies, and provides export credit guarantees and insurance.
Market Promotion Organizations and Their Programs
Support for export market development in Australia is widespread, provided primarily by producer-based organizations, and funded by a grower levy collected under statutory authority. Many organizations receive government funds, but these funds are not necessarily directed toward export promotion activities.
The Supermarket to Asia Council was established in 1996 to increase Australia’s food exports to Asia. The Council brings together government and industry leaders, who work to maximize Australia’s food export potential to Asia. Supermarket to Asia’s mission is "To grow Australian food sales to Asia and increase the number of exporters by developing a market-led export culture, removing barriers, building points of product difference and improving competitiveness through the chain." The Supermarket to Asia Council identifies and addresses impediments to growth, both domestically and in export markets. Programs are designed to complement government and industry initiatives. The mandate of the Supermarket to Asia Council is "To develop a globally-competitive Australian agri-food industry with an aggressive export culture, resulting in significant and ongoing growth in exports to the Asian region over the next decade." Funding of $8.9 million was allocated for the three years from 1996/97, including $0.91 million in new funding for 1997/98.
The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) markets and sells Australian grain to more than 50 countries and 100 individual customers. The AWB has developed an Australian brand of wheat for virtually every wheat flour use; within brands, it offers customers more than 50 different products, each targeted to a specific end use. In 1999, the AWB underwent transition from a statutory authority to a grower-owned and controlled company operating under Australian Corporations Law. The AWB continued to implement its long-term strategy of securing demand for Australian grain through a market presence in every regional and country market through customer service, professional development, and Australian grain industry orientation initiatives. Highly targeted international promotion and development programs continued to competitively position AWB and Australian grain by establishing and reinforcing a commitment to deliver "quality grain made to order." Promotional programs undertaken in 1997/98 included a marketing symposium in South Korea, participation in a milling conference and trade exhibition in Bahrain, and a marketing forum in the Middle East. The AWB is involved in joint venture projects in Indonesia, China, Egypt, Vietnam and Japan. Customer and technical servicing visits were made to South Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Technical presentations were carried out for customers in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Customers were also visited in Turkey, Switzerland, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
The Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation (AMLC) exists to improve the production of Australian meat and livestock, to protect market access, to insure the best possible delivery of the product, and to encourage the consumption of meat. The AMLC focuses their efforts in Japan, the United States, South Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The AMLC follows a two-pronged strategy for beef marketing. In Japan during 1997/98, the AMLC targeted the fast-growing food service sector, and created a flagship brand--Tokusen Aussie--to reposition quality Australian beef with consumers. The program used advertising, direct mail, seminars, trade missions, and trade shows to maintain trade support and promote Australia’s food safety system. The AMLC’s marketing for lamb focused on trade missions, and programs for chefs to cement a preference for Australian lamb. In the United States, the AMLC concentrated on convincing major fast food chains and patty makers that were not using Australian beef to include Australian beef. This promotion was carried out through a direct mail campaigns. For sheep meat, the campaign sought to increase sales to mid-scale and upscale restaurants, using trade print media advertising, direct mail activities, trade shows, chef tastings, and public relations support. In Korea, promotional activities for beef were conducted in the retail and food service sectors. In-store promotions were also used weekly. The food service program encouraged restaurants in the rest of South Asia to use a wide range of Australian beef through culinary competitions, hotel promotions, and publications. Australian exporters also joined AMLC at major food fairs in Malaysia, China, Singapore, and the Philippines. Many AMLC publications are produced in several languages for South Asia. AMLC hosted trade missions to Australia by chefs and retailers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and conducted seminars in the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Singapore. Lamb was featured in trade seminars as well.
The Australian Dairy Corporation (ADC) focuses on maximizing overseas trade and market access opportunities and reinforcing trade access gains by promoting Australia’s image as a reliable supplier of quality products. The Corporation is funded by the Australian dairy industry and by its own trading activities. No funds are provided by government.
Trade access activities remained a high priority for the Corporation and industry in 1997/98. That year, Corporation staff worked closely with government and industry representatives on a number of initiatives aimed at securing, or maintaining, improved access conditions for Australian dairy exporters. Activities were focused on Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries.
The Australian Horticultural Corporation (AHC) is funded by participating industries through statutory levies and export charges imposed at the request of those industries. Government funding for the AHC was withdrawn in July 1997.
"Australia Fresh" has been running since 1995; the campaign identifies Australian-grown products. In April 1998, a new positioning statement "Australia fresh is Australia’s best and represents Australia’s best- quality produce and Australia’s leading exporters," was developed. Citrus promotions targeted Asian countries, as well as New Zealand. The industry increased efforts after the Asian economic crisis to demonstrate the commitment of Australian apple and pear exporters to these established markets, while working at developing relationships in revisited and emerging markets. AHC held trade receptions to launch the apple and pear seasons, and the promotional support programs in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. The AHC coordinated the stone fruit industry’s first export promotional program, which ran in Taiwan in 1998, and the first major international promotion for Australian macadamias in Germany, in mid-1998.
The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) promotes and controls the export of grape products from Australia through product promotion both in Australia and overseas. The AWBC ‘s mission statement is "To enhance the operating environment for the benefit of the Australian wine industry by creating national and international market environments in which wine producers, individually and collectively are able, through their own initiative, to achieve maximum long term demand for their products and to do so in consultation with industry and in the most cost effective way." AWBC’s Vision 2025 strategic plan targets A$2.5 billion in annual export wine sales by 2025, significantly up from the current level of A$813 million. The corporation’s strategy emphasizes the growth of existing export markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States, together with development of new markets, including Asia. The goal is to increase exports from the current 40 percent of production to 70 percent of production by 2025.
Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organization (AWRAP) was established by the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organization Act 1993. AWRAP is funded by Australian wool growers. All activities are carried out under the name International Wool Secretariat (IWS). In 1998, IWS International changed its name to the Woolmark Company Pty Ltd. To help increase worldwide demand for wool, AWRAP uses brand marketing, international consumer advertising campaigns, and merchandising and joint promotions with retail partners. Through partnerships with leading retailers, new types of Easy Care Wool products, such as machine-washable knitwear, were promoted at retail outlets with specially developed merchandising material, store displays, and care leaflets. Partnerships with laundry product manufacturers were also developed. The Woolmark now appears on over 150 million units of domestic detergent products a year.
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is a business-focused statutory authority within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Austrade is dedicated to helping Australian businesses - particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find export and investment opportunities overseas, through the resources of its offices in Australia and in over 90 cities around the world. Austrade works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to enhance exports, and with the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism to attract investment to Australia. Austrade’s Export Finance Assistance Programs provide financial assistance to encourage small and medium Australian businesses to seek out and develop export markets. It does this principally through export market development grants.