Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 210


A report by Rabobank analyst Georgia Twomey discussed what would drive profitability for the wool industry in the future. The report said the wool processing sector will also undergo rationalisation and eventually meaningful diversification. However, these shifts are not likely to be rapid. Ms Twomey says a focus on China and a strong trade relationship will be essential to maintain a healthy wool pipeline and security for wool growers in the short to medium term.

As a niche fibre in the global textile market, the importance of fibre quality and relevance for end products will become increasingly important to recognise in order to extract greater value.
Wool’s inclusion in the recent China-Australia FTA agreement with a duty free country-specific quota is a crucial step in further underpinning the strength of our wool trade relationship. Wool remains Australia’s largest rural export to China by value with 75 per cent of the Australian clip exported there in 2013.

Wool has a fantastic opportunity as a fibre already naturally aligned with key demand trends. Broadening the product segments in which fine wool participates…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 209


While people frequently talk about a food security crisis in an increasingly over-populated world, global debate about our hungry planet’s food challenge tends to overlook what farmers think.

Rabobank Group executive board member, Berry Marttin, is alarmed the key players in the food supply equation – the people who actually grow what we eat – get remarkably few chances to voice their own practical ideas on what’s really needed to effectively tackle the big production task.

There are some very serious problems which need to be addressed quickly. Some of the most obvious include 40 per cent of all the food produced is subsequently thrown away or wasted in developed economies such as Australia, the US or in Europe, or it’s spoiled in the field or in transit in countries which lack adequate infrastructure to handle it properly. And while on one hand 2 million children are going to bed hungry each night, and over 800 million people are chronically hungry, there are 1.6 billion people who are overweight. Balanced nutrition is a key issue for food security and…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 208


Trade Minister Andrew Robb has clarified key details of the pending agreement on live cattle exports to China and long-running free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations as it nears resolution.

Mr Robb was in Beijing last week for FTA talks when news of the live cattle exports deal with China made headlines in Australia. Mr Robb also addressed criticism of the live cattle deal in Australia from anti live export critics Animals Australia, the Greens and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie over potential animal welfare outcomes.

Australia had successfully transported dairy cattle to China previously with the trade contributing to a humanitarian miracle. We are helping Chinese get milk. That’s what unfortunately some of our people in Australia don’t understand, that if you’re going to perform a humanitarian miracle – and that’s what’s happened in this country – 500 million people have come out of poverty in the last fifteen years; and that is a humanitarian miracle. It’s never happened in the history of the world and they’ve still got hundreds of millions to pull out of poverty.

Now that means higher…

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