Australia beef quota change ‘detrimental’ to European exports

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

The quota represents three-quarters of Australia’s total EU beef exports
The quota represents three-quarters of Australia’s total EU beef exports
The Cattle Council of Australia has revealed that changes to the country’s grain-fed beef EU quota would have a “significant detrimental effect” on European exports.

The Council responded to alleged reports that the European Union would be altering Australia’s grain-fed beef quota, which it described as “highly valuable​” to the industry.

The quota represents three-quarters of Australia’s total EU beef exports, thought to be worth around AU$250 million from 2017-2018.

The organisation also questioned whether the rumours would be in breach of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

As it is a member of the EU Red Meat Industry Taskforce, the Council said it had a firm position to maintain status quo access arrangements on the grain-fed quota, ensuring no discriminatory quota allocation.

Australia’s 3,500 accredited European Union Cattle Accreditation Scheme (EUCAS) cattle producers are part of a supply chain which has made substantial investment and ongoing commitment to producing cattle that can service the EU grain-fed beef market​,” said Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith.

Therefore, any detrimental change to accessing the EU market is a very significant concern​.”

Australia was verified as an eligible supplier under the EU grain-fed beef quota in January 2010 and the Council said following the verification, it had met the stringent quota specifications.

The European Commission is set to provide a mandate at the next European Council meeting, where they will negotiate Australia’s and the US’ position as beef suppliers.

If the EU and US agree on a country-specific portion in favour of the US, substantial suppliers such as Australia must be consulted and consent to this allocation. The Australian Government is currently awaiting notification of this consultation​,” Smith added.

The Australian beef industry, via the Taskforce, is working in partnership with the Australian Government to ensure that any change in current arrangements are WTO-compliant​.”

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