As part of its Ag2030 vision the Australian Government is committed to setting the foundation for the farming, fisheries and forestry sectors to grow annual output to $100 billion by 2030.  With more than 70 per cent of Australia agribusiness output exported, helping exporters to expand and diversify markets will be critical to meeting this goal.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) contributes by opening markets with Free Trade Agreements – there are currently 16 signed agreements and seven under negotiation.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) works to improve access for Australian products internationally by negotiating technical agreements.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) works in sync with both those agencies but our contribution is to support agribusinesses entering international markets with a suite of services that help them go further, faster.

What is the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI)?

In December 2020, the Australian Government announced a commitment to invest $72.7 million over two and a half years to help Australian agribusiness exporters expand and diversify their international markets, particularly those impacted by challenging market conditions and trade disruptions.

This is the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI).    

How does it work?

Under the ABEI funding there are five streams of work. 

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is responsible for:

  • the expansion of the ATMAC program to support trade expansion and diversification
  • boosting scientific and technical capacity to accelerate negotiation of technical agreements
  • placing additional, short-term Agriculture Counsellors in specific locations to rapidly build relationships and improve market access
  • boosting provision of market intelligence to give exporters the information they need to grow markets.

For more on these streams of work please go to DAWE’s website.

Austrade is responsible for the fifth stream of work - helping exporters enter markets.  We are offering a surge of support to agribusiness exporters, delivering services to an additional 2,000 agribusiness exporters each year.

To meet this target quickly, Austrade will scale-up its delivery of the services rated most highly by clients.

What does Austrade’s service scale-up mean for me?

Scaling up our service offer for the agribusiness sector means:

  • more boots on the ground to work with you in multiple markets
  • rolling out events and activities for specific sectors to deliver the latest market intelligence to exporters and to drive market demand and interest
  • launch of export.business.gov.au.  providing sector and market information online, 24/7, so exporters can select and prioritise markets when it suits them

Of course, Austrade’s existing suite of services continues to be available such as Export Market Development Grants (EMDG), which  is being reformed to make it more flexible and responsive to the needs of exporters.

As we roll out this scaled-up service offer, we’re working closely with industry peak bodies and State & Territory Governments to ensure a coordinated approach for sectors in priority markets as well as seamless service delivery to exporters.  For example, we’re locating some of our additional agribusiness specialist staff in peak bodies to work specifically with your industry.

When will ABEI be established?

The five work streams are already up and running.  The ABEI funding was announced on 23 December 2020 and while the program is still in a start-up phase, already:

  • The exporters most  impacted by trade disruptions have been identified and by the end of March over  100 of them have accepted Austrade’s offer of assistance to find new markets
  • A comprehensive calendar of industry specific events is close to finalisation in association with peak bodies and will soon roll out
  • We have launched 3500 market profiles for the agribusiness sector on export.business.gov.au – almost 250 of them include regulatory information with that number set to double with the next release.  Through export.business.gov.au exporters can access insights on top-performing markets, laws and regulations specific to their product so they can identify and expand into new markets quicker.
  • Almost 20 new staff have been appointed in Australia – most from agribusiness sectors – to support agribusiness exporters.  Some of those staff will be based in peak body and State and Territory Government agencies.
  • Action is underway to recruit more than 20 agribusiness specialists to our offshore network to support exporters in multiple markets – with more to come.

Most importantly, agribusiness exporters are already having success with product and/or market diversification strategies.  We will be featuring their stories in our social media channels, trade media and our monthly Agribusiness & Food newsletter.  Click here to subscribe and stay in touch.
Over the coming months, the program will continue to build.

Where can I get more information?

I want to… You should…
…identify, understand and prioritise potential markets. …go to export.business.gov.au and check out the market search tool
…ask a specific question about grants, programs and services …call 13 28 78
…read more about the $72m Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI) and the Ag2030 Vision …go to www.agriculture.gov.au
…ask about the ATMAC (Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation) Program …email ATMAC@agriculture.gov.au
…be kept informed about the latest agribusiness news …subscribe to Austrade’s Food & Agribusiness newsletter at austrade.gov.au/news/newsletters or
Engage with your industry peak body to learn about their involvement in the agribusiness expansion initiative.