The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has welcomed the announcement of the finalisation of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia.
The final deal confirms arrangements set back in June 2021 to completely remove all tariff and quota arrangements for short and medium grain rice varietals from the first day of the FTA coming into effect. A tariff-free quota of 1000 tonnes will remain for long grain varieties.
This announcement comes at a time where rice growers have full water allocations, after low rice production for the past three years due to water availability.
President of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA), Rob Massina said the rice industry has advocated for rice to be included in Australia’s free trade agreements for a long time. As one of the world’s most important basic food staples, rice is critical to the security of many nations and has therefore been one of the most highly protected agricultural commodities internationally.
The RGA congratulates the Minister for Trade, Dan Tehan, and the negotiating team from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for securing such an historic agreement.
Mr Massina said “as a vertically integrated and wholly Australian-owned “paddock to plate" product, this agreement will see Australian producers and farmers receive a significant boost through greater access to the UK market.”
The final agreement is the most significant market access outcome for rice exports in any of the recent Free Trade Agreements the Australian Government has negotiated. The RGA acknowledge the contribution of SunRice and their collective work with the Australian Government’s negotiating team from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.