Australia has been recognised by the US as a supplier of high quality food products following the signing of a bilateral Food Safety Recognition Agreement this month.
The new agreement will help to streamline food trade between the countries.
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources head of exports, Greg Read, said the agreement was the third the US had undertaken with a trading partner.
It provides for the US and Australia to recognise one another’s food safety and regulatory systems as comparable.
“The upshot is that this will greatly simplify Australian exports to the USA through greater reliance on our national food control systems that ensure the production of safe food,” Mr Read said.
“This agreement, signed by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, will result in fewer in-country audits – with compliance being managed by the exporting country.
“This is good for our businesses, as it positions Australia as a safe source of food supply for the US market that will place our exporters in a position of benefit compared with other exporting countries that don’t have this agreement.
Good news for farmers
“These preferential processes will encourage trade between our two nations that can only be good news for our farmers and growing their profits.”
Not all foods are included in the new agreement.
However, most canned foods, seafood, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, fruit juices, confectionary, baked goods and pet food are included.
“Just as Australia does, the USA continues to regulate foods such as meat, egg products, shellfish and dietary supplements and more stringent requirements continue to apply,” Mr Read said.
Mr Read said the new agreements have taken five years to finalise.
“Behind the scenes, work like this can have real benefits to producers in Australia as our safe, high quality produce has even stronger credentials when compared with produce from a country that does not have its food safety systems recognised.”