Transcript: A video case study on AusAb

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>>Voiceover: Australia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of wild and harvested abalone, with exports worth $158 million.

The majority of our abalone exports go to Asia, where abalone is a highly sought after premium seafood item.

The free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea have created exciting new opportunities for Aussie abalone farmers who are either exporting – or thinking about venturing – into these markets.

Ausab is one such company. Ausab – the largest abalone aquaculture company in the southern hemisphere – is already reaping the rewards created by the Japan Agreement, and expect sales to China to increase thanks to the China Agreement.

>>David Ryan: My name’s David Ryan. I’m the General Manager of Ausab Pty Ltd.

Ausab currently has five farms situated across Australia. We have sites in Bremer Bay in Western Australia, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Portland in Victoria and Bicheno on the north-east of Tasmania.

And we’re the largest supplier of green lip abalone in the world. We produced 500 tonnes of abalone per year and with current expansions underway this will increase to 750 tonnes by 2018.

And we currently export to more than 10 countries, including China and Japan.

>>Voiceover: Australian abalone is popular in Japan, with exports worth $17 million.

When the Japan Agreement entered into force, the tariffs on abalone were eliminated.

>>David Ryan: The Free Trade Agreement has already benefited our business in Japan with the immediate reduction of 7 per cent tariffs. This has been very welcome for us because Japan is our biggest export market, currently taking 170 tonnes but this will increase to 250 tonnes in the coming years.

>>Voiceover: The 20 per cent tariff on abalone is being eliminated as part of the agreement with Korea, while the China Agreement will see tariffs of up to 14 per cent eliminated, creating exciting prospects for AusAb.

>>David Ryan: We are very excited about the prospects for the China market.

The Chinese love our green lip abalone and green lip is endemic to Australia and it’s renowned for its superior quality and taste.

>>Voiceover: Ausab is currently expanding its business to cater for the expected increase in demand for its abalone from North Asia, creating new jobs in local communities.

>>David Ryan: With our current expansions underway in Port Lincoln and also Portland, Victoria and in preparation for the increased demand out of China and Japan, we’re currently employing 75 people. This will likely increase to around 100 people, as well as opening up a new centralised processing facility in either Adelaide or Melbourne.

The Free Trade Agreements will allow Australian companies to be more competitive. This will create more jobs, bring wealth back home which will benefit local communities and also the Australian economy as a whole.

My advice to other Australian companies are to speak with your industry representatives, government bodies, find out how these free trade agreements can benefit your business and help promote our unique Australian produce.

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