Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 379
Posted on: May 29th, 2018


The quote for this week comes from the Australian Meat Industry Council’s (AMIC) chairman, Lachie Hart. He was discussing the future of live exports. While AMIC does not support the banning of live exports, Hart had the following to say, if such a ban was to go forward:

“If the Government is prepared to support the manufacturing industry in Australia, support us in training our labour, to get labour into our plants, we certainly have the capacity and the ability to handle the live export trade volumes.”

Essentially suggesting that there could be a transition from live export to the export of Australian slaughtered and processed animals to traditional trading partners but that significant government support would be required.


“Nationally, the median price of farmland grew by 7.1 per cent last financial year, according to a report by Rural Bank, a subsidiary of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Australia’s most expensive farming land lies 200 kilometres south of Sydney, where the median price for a hectare of farming land in Shoalhaven was $19,400 in 2017. The municipality of Bulloo, which covers the south-west corner of Queensland, had the lowest median value at just $49 a hectare.

The value of farmland has been growing by an average of 6.6 per cent each year since 1998, according to the report. The median price is the ‘middle’ price once sales are ranked from highest to lowest, and it is the most commonly used property price statistic.

In South Australia and Tasmania, big jumps in the average median price of 17.1 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively were due to a handful of high-value deals.

Victoria and New South Wales recorded lifts of 9.5 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively. The median price in Queensland declined by 2.8 per cent, in Western Australia by 6.5 per cent and in the Northern Territory by 35 per cent.

“Certainly, when you look at the report and the numbers there are some regions that have gone up substantially, or declined substantially,” Rural Bank chief executive Alexandra Gartmann said.

“But you’ve got to stand back and look at the five, 10 and 20-year figures. Looking at the last five years, even the worst performing regions, only two of those five actually had negative price growth, so even the worst performing regions are on the whole achieving positive farmland value growth, which is a great thing for Australian agriculture.”

A separate analysis undertaken by Landmark Harcourts showed in the 12 months to November 2017, national farm sales rose 20 per cent to $20.3 billion.”

Source: Jasper, Clint and Honan, Kim. ABC News Rural. 2 May 2018.


“Food products with trademarked geographical labels, which have specific qualities or reputations tied to their place of origin, already account for annual trade of more than $50 billion worldwide, according to the report, Strengthening sustainable food systems through geographical indications, by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The concept is not new: products from Bordeaux wine to Parmigiano cheese have had protected labeling for decades or centuries. But the idea is spreading and such products are taking off throughout developing countries and regions.

“Geographical indications are an approach to food production and marketing systems that place social, cultural and environment considerations at the heart of the value chain,” said Emmanuel Hidier, Senior Economist in FAO’s Investment Centre.

“They can be a pathway to sustainable development for rural communities by promoting quality products, strengthening value chains, and improving access to more remunerative markets,” he added.
The report analyzes the economic impact of Geographical Indication registration in nine case studies: Colombian coffee, Darjeeling tea (India), Futog cabbage (Serbia), Kona coffee (United States), Manchego cheese (Spain), Penja pepper (Cameroon), Taliouine saffron (Morocco), Tête de Moine cheese (Switzerland) and Vale dos Vinhedos wine (Brazil).

For example, it reveals that by registering Penja pepper – grown in the Penja Valley’s volcanic soil in Cameroon and the first African product to receive the label – local farmers have increased their incomes six-fold.

Gains from labeling surpass finances alone. The practice can also stimulate public-private sector dialogue, the report notes, as authorities are often associated closely with the registration and certification process.

[Rules for registering geographical labels] are regulated and protected under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, an international legal agreement among World Trade Organization members.

The report also recognizes potential pitfalls. Some small-scale or traditional producers may be excluded, for example, if specifications are overly complex.

But overall, the study finds, geographic labeling has had significant positive effects on prices of the trademarked goods, whether long-established or recently registered.

“The unique linkages of these products with their natural and cultural resources in local areas make them a useful tool in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by preserving a food heritage and contributing to healthy diets,” said Florence Tartanac, Senior Officer in the FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Division.”

Source: UN Economic Development Staff Writer. UN News. 26 April 2018.


The chart for this week shows an interesting correlation between a countries level of wealth (as measured by GDP per capita) and actual crop yield (measured by the $ value of produce per hectare). The data would indicate that the richer the country the great the yield per hectare. The thesis is broadly that rich countries’ farms are more productive as there is better access to technology, government support and infrastructure. The report, from where the data for the graph was extrapolated, suggested that the top decile of rich countries were three times as productive as the bottom decile.