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Food and agricultural producers across Australia and New Zealand are increasingly turning their attention to their close neighbours on the Asian continent. The proximity of almost a third of the world’s population has always been impossible to ignore; however, the region has taken on a new level of significance in recent times as developing countries across Asia have embarked upon their journeys of economic transformation. Rising incomes across Asia and the changing dietary habits of households have already had a significant influence on many global agricultural markets and trade flows. This influence is expected to strengthen in coming years as the region increases its share of the global economy, while remaining somewhat limited in its ability to satisfy its own growing needs and wants for food and fibre products. Indeed, the dawning of the so-called ‘Asian Century’ holds great promise, but it also presents a great challenge to Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) food and agricultural producers. Understanding the business risks of supplying a diverse economic, cultural and political region is critical for ANZ farmers and agribusinesses to maximise the value of their expansion into Asia. Improving their understanding of these factors will also allow ANZ agribusinesses to better respond to the opportunities emerging in Asia at the right scale. Developing strong partnerships along the supply chain and across borders will be critical to the success of Australia and New Zealand in capturing value in the growing Asian markets. Increasingly, consumers across Asia are demanding high levels of food safety and traceability, with many willing and able to pay a premium for the clean and green food we produce. Australia and New Zealand together supply less than 10% of Asia’s total food and agricultural imports: our focus needs to be on leveraging the many attributes of agricultural sectors at the high-value end of the market.


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