Trade PlanningWednesday, Jul 4, 2001
A news item from Australia states that
“Aussie Farm leaders meet to hatch trade battle plan
Farming leaders from nearly every export-orientated rural industry were called to Canberra last week
to hatch a trade battle plan for the remainder of the year.
With WTO multilateral trade talks in Qatar scheduled for November, a Cairns Group meeting scheduled
for Uruguay in September, a new US Farm Bill under construction and the creation of a free trade agreement
with the US under investigation, the meeting was established to create a united lobbying
effort from the Australian Government and rural industry.”
New Zealand appears to be very different from Australia in the way it manages its international trade
relations and if they are managed it appears to be with minimum consultation and producer participation.
This particularly applies to the big issues that are listed above. If there is consultation with producer
boards there is very little analysis and certainly none that would enable a producer to make
management decisions at farm level as a result of that information.
What are the questions that will be discussed at Qatar? What is the effect on pastoral trade if they
are implemented? What are the implications if they are not? Are farmers better off not knowing until
it is being decided? Is it in effect none of our business because our task is just to produce?
What is known of the Meat Board or the Dairy Board policies and how they were developed and what outcome
are they expecting?
Future trade is certainly a hazardous subject but the pastoral industry must demand that its executives
provide more analysis for producers of what is happening that will affect product prices received.