Digital streamlining to drive food export path

Australian agricultural and food producers will get an easier path into international markets with digitisation of export processes to lift their global competitiveness.

Minister for Agriculture, Bridget 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, boosting both profits and productivity.

“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 $48 billion in agricultural exports,” said McKenzie.

“The changes…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.

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“The system will replace use of paper documentation wherever it is 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.

By moving to a paperless system, brand Australia and the country’s reputation for ‘clean-green’ food will be further protected. A more secure system will provide  assurance of the authenticity of Australian products and brands, according to McKenzie.

“This initiative underpins Australia’s target to build agriculture to be a $100 billion sector by 2030 and our commitment to develop a streamlined, effective and efficient certification process to drive more agricultural exports to profitable markets.”