Dr Kelly Manton-Pearce, of the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, visited the EU, the US, the UK, Middle East and China. She said that while there was evidence of strong demand for sheepmeat in these markets, high tariffs and sanitary restrictions were blocking Australian trade.
“China’s tariff on Australian lamb is 15% for bone-in product compared to 6.7% for New Zealand – which is going down to zero by 2015 due to the NZ-China free trade agreement,” she said.
“We’ve also got barriers to trade in India, due to a high tariff and a phytosanitary barrier that needs review. This is a country that has a segment of 300 million people, who primarily eat sheepmeat and goat.”
She added there was high regard for Australian lamb globally, but the government and industry needed to push to remove restrictions.
“Sheepmeat production has a great future. We simply need producers and politicians to continue to make informed decisions, based on an understanding of our markets,” she said.