To gain and retain market access by designing and testing new evidence-based protocols and standards. This will give importing countries strong assurances around pest and disease, food safety standards, and other credentials that otherwise form a barrier to trade.
Our work aims to remove non-tariff trade barriers and deliver access to more diverse, flexible and premium markets. This will be underpinned by new science-based trade protocols that are both practical and cost-effective for industry and reduce market access risk (e.g. potential chemical bans or voluntary withdrawals). Modernised protocols and standards can also reduce regulatory burdens where they integrate diverse datasets and are designed to complement emerging digital approaches to automating compliance process.
International demand for premium, trusted products continues to grow amid strong global competition. The current trade environment has also heightened the risk of an increase in non-tariff trade barriers.
In this context, Australia needs regulatory protocols and standards that build ongoing trust in our assurance processes for biosecurity, food safety and other trade sensitive credentials. Export markets value Australian agrifood products largely due to our high regulatory standards, however the following obstacles remain.
- Biosecurity and food safety concerns from importing countries continue to limit our ability to access and maintain key international markets.
- Many of the current approaches to delivering the efficacy required by trading partners adversely impacts food quality and are expensive.
- Verification of credentials around sustainability, chemical residues and animal welfare benchmarks are increasingly required for trade.
Our proposed solution
We plan to develop science-based, internationally accepted practices that demonstrate and maintain trust in the safety and biosecurity of our fresh produce and agrifood products. These practices need to target international market access, while being consistent with the sound and trusted domestic food safety and biosecurity protocols that underpin our national reputation. To achieve this, we need to:
- Capitalise on technological innovation that is occurring throughout the supply chain.
- Provide the science needed to develop and harmonise globally accepted risk-based approaches and standards to underpin global trade.
- Strengthen ties between food safety, biosecurity compliance and other trade sensitive assurance requirements.
Organisations currently collaborating with CSIRO on market access focused research include:
- Horticulture Innovation
- Peak industry groups
- State and Territory governments (Victoria, Western Australia and NSW)
- The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.