AUSTRALIAN agricultural and food producers will get an easier path into international markets with digitisation of export processes, agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie says.
Senator McKenzie said changes to streamline and digitise export certification processes necessary to ship Australian products overseas would benefit meat, dairy, seafood, horticulture, grain, wool and other producers.
“This initiative is part of our government’s deregulation agenda to make life easier for exporters and will help us reach our target to grow agriculture to a $100bn sector by 2030,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Certification of food safety is a necessary process for our agricultural exports to be accepted by importers overseas, through a process that currently focuses on paper records. In 2017-18 my department issued over 461,000 export certificates to support $48bn in agricultural exports.
“The changes agreed by our government will modernise and speed up that process, removing paper trail management, as well as improving the ability of producers to track progress through the online system.”
Senator McKenzie said the system would replace use of paper documentation wherever it was used to support, apply or be issued in relation to export certification, with the system expected to begin initial operation before mid-2020 and be fully completed within three years.
“One meat exporter alone has estimated that the ability to amend export documentation online will save $120,000 a year in detained consignment costs,” she said.
“By moving to a paperless system, brand Australia and our reputation for ‘clean-green’ food will be further protected. A more secure system will provide even greater assurance of the authenticity of Australian products and brands.”