Beef briefs 29 June 2018: China lifts bans on British, French imports

Beef Central, 29/06/2018

China lifts bans on British, French beef imports

China has lifted a ban on importing British beef that was triggered by the BSE detection more than 20 years ago. A UK Government statement announcing the news said the move could be worth £250 million (AUD$444) in the next five years to the British beef industry. The announcement came two days after China signed a deal to lift a ban on French beef imposed more than a decade ago, according to a Reuters report. The UK Government said the trade breakthrough followed several years of site inspections and negotiations between UK and Chinese government officials. Reuters said China is now the world’s second-largest beef importer, taking in almost 700,000 tonnes of the red meat in 2017, worth about $3.3 billion, with volume up 20 percent year-on-year. In 2001, China banned beef imports from European countries including France in response to the mad cow disease crisis. The ban was extended to include U.S. beef in 2003, but the US ban was lifted in September 2016. France is the fourth EU country after Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark to resume beef imports to China.

China-US tariffs could cut US ag exports by 40pc

Bilateral tariffs could educe the value of US farm exports to China by about 40 percent, according to a report published by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a government think tank. US soybean, cotton, beef and cereal shipments to China may each drop by 50 percent in value, it said in a report published on its official WeChat account on Tuesday, citing results of a simulation. The price of imported soybeans may rise 5.9 percent and imported cotton prices may increase 7.5 percent, with minor impacts predicted for other farm goods, it said. China could take measures including sourcing supply from countries within the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, increasing purchases of soybean substitutes and supporting domestic production of the oilseed, according to the think tank. It also suggested that the government maintain its minimum purchase prices for wheat and rice and subsidize growers. The Asian country is the world’s top importer of soybeans and rice, third-biggest cotton buyer and biggest wheat producer. More details on Bloomberg news here

French butchers seek protection from vegans

French butchers have written to their government asking for protection against militant vegans, accusing them of trying to shut down the country’s traditional meat-eating culture. Over the last few months, 15 shops have been splashed with fake blood, stoned or defaced with anti-meat graffiti and stickers, the French Federation of Butchers says. Federation chief Jean-François Guihard described the attacks as terrorism. “It’s terror that these people are seeking to sow, in their aim of making a whole section of French culture disappear,” he wrote. Vegans wanted to “impose on the immense majority of people their lifestyle, or even their ideology”. Vegetarians and vegans make up just a few percent of the French population. A 2016 survey estimated that 3% of French people were vegetarians.”The vegan way of life has been over-hyped in the media,” Mr Guihard said, contributing to intolerance. More on BBC News.

Farm Household Allowance extension passes Parliament

The Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2018  which increases the cumulative period farmers qualify for Farm Household allowance to four years passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the successful passage of the legislation farmers in drought will soon be able to access a fourth year of the allowance. The change follows the drought tour with the Prime Minister a few weeks ago. “I hope there are farmers out there who can sleep a bit better tonight knowing this change will soon be reality,” Minister Littleproud said. “Farm Household Allowance already allowed farmers three years of payments to adjust and plan with the help of a Rural Financial Counsellor – it’s appropriate that be extended to four years.” Mr Littleproud said farmers should not self-assess whether they’re eligible for FHA – they should go see a rural financial counsellor.” Minister Littleproud said he will hold a roundtable on drought policy, resilience and preparedness in coming weeks.

BeefUp Forums return to Northern Australia

Beef producers across Northern Australia have the chance to tap into industry insights and practical tools to improve their businesses at this year’s Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) BeefUp Forums. Hosted by MLA and supported by the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC), the events are also designed to seek direct input from producers to help drive the future direction of levy-payer funded research, development and adoption (RD&A) programs. The BeefUp Forums will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday 2 July – Barkly Homestead, NT
  • Tuesday 17 July – Julia Creek, Queensland
  • Tuesday 24 July – Alice Springs, NT
  • Monday 30 July – Broome, WA
  • Wednesday 1 August – Karratha, WA
  • Wednesday 15 August – Kidman Springs, NT
  • Wednesday 22 August – St Lawrence, Queensland
  • Wednesday 5 September – Miles, Queensland
  • Friday 7 September – Spyglass, Queensland
  • Wednesday 10 October – Charleville, Queensland
  • Wednesday 17 October – Mundubbera, Queensland

The cost to attend the BeefUp Forums is $20 and includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a barbecue dinner. Registration is essential. Registration details here

$100,000 grants for export ready food producers

Grants of up to $100,000 are available to eligible  Queensland food businesses that are ready to export their produce overseas. Queensland  Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the second round of the Growing Queensland’s Food Export grants program would open July 1. The $1.3 million program supports producers and food businesses in improving their export competitiveness through better understanding of their markets, as well as identifying trade, technical, logistics and market development needs. The program will provide matched funding of $50,000 to $100,000 over two years for each eligible project and applicants must co-contribute at least 50 per cent of the total project funds required. Interested applicants are invited to submit concept proposals during the application period from 1 July until 1 August 2018. To find out more, food producers should call 13 25 23 or email

Zoonosis Awareness Week is back

Throughout next week Animal Health Australia (AHA) will be running Zoonosis Awareness Week, promoting awareness of diseases that pose a risk to people working in rural areas or in close proximity to livestock and other animals. “Zoonotic diseases are those which can pass from animals to people and vice versa – and a number of these, such as Q-Fever, are endemic to Australia,” says Dr Simon Humphrys, Executive Manager Biosecurity and Product Integrity. “Zoonotic disease is a real risk to agricultural workers and it can have long term consequences – for your physical and mental health and even your business.” Throughout next week AHA will be posting daily on its social media pages to help raise awareness of zoonotic disease prevention, symptoms, treatment and research, using the hashtag #BeZoonosisAware – join the conversation by sharing posts or contributing your own.  “Information can help prevent the spread of these diseases and may even save someone’s life. Let’s all work together and get the information out there to the people that need it – the more people that get involved, the more people we can reach.” See @AnimalHealthAustralia on Facebook and @AHA_au on Twitter.

Extension of quad bike rebates welcomed by NSW farmers

The NSW Government has committed a further $1 million to extend the Quad Bike Safety Rebate Program for another 12 months. NSW Farmers’ President, Derek Schoen said while quad bikes are invaluable work vehicles, they are one of the main causes of fatalities on farm. “The Rebate Program incentivises farmers to consider the right vehicle for the right tasks and available safety measures such as operator protection device and helmets. The Minister’s announcement also includes a commitment of $700,000 for funded training and a communications campaign. “Quad bikes and side by sides are products where you don’t know the vehicle performance until you purchase one and use it for several days on the farm. There are quad bikes with various specifications available in the market. Having easy to understand safety rating information at point of purchase will assist farmers to make better and safer decisions,” said Mr Schoen. NSW Farmers administers the Quad Bike Safety Rebates Program on behalf of SafeWork NSW.


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