The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is warning the Albanese Government not to sign the Australian-European Free Trade Agreement, labelling it a bad deal for Victorian agriculture.
VFF President Emma Germano urged Trade Minister Don Farrell to withhold signing the agreement at the G7 Trade Minister’s Meeting, unless the deal offers significantly improved conditions for Victorian farmers.
“This is a dud deal with Victorian farmers being asked to give up a lot, whilst receiving little in return.”
“The deal on the table doesn’t offer commercially meaningful market access and seeks to put unfair restrictions on what we produce at home,” Ms Germano said.
Ms Germano added the trade agreement would particularly hurt Victoria’s dairy industry.
“As it stands the trade agreement would have enormous impact on Victorian dairy farmers who produce over 70 per cent of the nation’s dairy exports by value.”
“Victorian dairy farmers will get a raw deal if the agreement is allowed to sail through without checks to the EU’s demands on geographical indicators.”
“The rules around geographical indicators would not only affect our domestic production, but also our ability to send product to other trading partners, particularly in the critical Asian market.”
“Victoria is the nation’s largest agricultural exporter. Our food and fibre exports are valued at over $17.9 billion and are critical to Victorian economy as a whole, particularly our regional economy.”
“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,” Ms Germano said.