During a visit to Japan, Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) CEO Patrick Hutchinson, accompanied by Meat and Livestock Australia representatives, met with Japanese industry leaders and senior Australian Embassy officials. He used the visit to confirm Australia’s ongoing commitment to the Japanese market and express a strong desire from the Australian meat industry to continue to explore opportunities in the region by supplying quality product that suits the specific needs of Japanese consumers.
“Japan has created vast opportunity for Australian producers and we’ve forged a relationship that we are both proud of and grateful for. I’ve reiterated at my several meetings in Japan in the past few days that the market remains a high priority for Australian industry,” he said.
Hutchinson said the Australian meat industry is “unfazed” by the recent trade deal between the US and Japan that sees tariffs dropped, claiming the industry “welcomes competition on a level playing field”, and is “confident about Australian meat’s position in Japan”.
“Our quality product has built a tremendous reputation in Japan over many decades and is preferred by Japanese consumers,” he added.
According to the AMIC, Australia currently exports about $2.5bn worth of beef and sheep meat to Japan every year, with a combined volume of approximately 317,000 tonnes. Australia has an approximate 49% market share of beef imports into Japan, and also enjoys 64% of the market share for sheep meat imports.
“As an industry we have built significant relationships with Japanese importers over many decades. These relationships are the result of hard work and goodwill on both sides, and they will help ensure we can continue to reliably and consistently deliver high quality product to the Japanese market,” said Hutchinson. “There’s plenty happening between Australia and Japan – from Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie’s visit in August, to the very exciting news that Australian beef will be an official partner of the Australian Olympic Team heading to Tokyo in 2020. Our industry looks forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in Japan as we continue to identify opportunities that deliver benefits to both countries.”