The Federal Government says it is yet to settle the financial assistance package that will be offered to exporters to deliver improved supply chains in foreign markets.
Exporters have estimated that the changes required to meet new Australian Government animal welfare standards in export supply chains will cost in the order of $25 million.
The Federal Government has announced the allocation of $10 million to help foreign countries make the infrastructure and systems upgrades required to continue receiving Australian livestock.
It has also made $5 million available over the next two years to support exporters to improve supply chains.
The funding will be available on a 3:1 investment ratio, which means exporters will need to provide $3 for every dollar of government funding.
Mr Ludwig’s office told Beef Central yesterday that the Government was yet to settle on the full details on the support program and would do so in consultation with industry.
The minister also spelled out the reasons why the Gillard Government has committed to the long –term future of the industry.
“The live export trade supports thousands of jobs in regional Australia and simply contributes to Australia’s reputation as a reliable and high quality supplier of food and fibre,” Mr Ludwig said.
“The trade was worth more than $1 billion in trade in 2010.
“These reforms will underpin the sustainability of the industry for years to come.”
Queensland farm group AgForce yesterday congratulated Mr Ludwig on the Government’s commitment to providing a sustainable future for live animal exports.
AgForce cattle policy director Andrew Simpson said the Federal government’s approach was recognition of the live cattle industry’s solid progress in shoring up supply chains into Indonesia that ensure all Australian cattle are humanely treated.
“AgForce recognises the new system is necessary to rebuild public trust in this industry and we will continue to drive changes both domestically and offshore to ensure our member’s interests are protected,” Mr Simpson said.
AgForce Cattle fully supports the government’s recommendation that overseas supply chains must operate at or above World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines for animal welfare but that mandatory stunning, while preferable, is difficult to enforce in sovereign countries.
“We were also heartened to hear Minister Ludwig promise that, in future, entire markets will not have to be closed to address isolated animal welfare issues.”