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Arrangements for supply for high quality beef to the Japanese market

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Ca n b e r r a

15 June 1978.

Arrangements have been finalised under which Australia will be

able to compete in the supply of high quality beef to the

Japanese market. This was announced in Canberra today by the

Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Sinclair.

Mr Sinclair said that the arrangements were agreed during

consultations in Tokyo, 12-13 June. The Australian delegation,

which held consultation with Japanese authorities, was led by

Mr R.G. Jones, Chairman of the Australian Meat and Livestock

Corporation. The delegation included the Chief of the Commonwealth

meat inspection service and the Chairman of the Australian Meat

Exporters Federal Council. The Minister said that the understandings

reached on high quality beef imports were:

. high quality beef will be imported under global quota arrangements

. the quantity of high quality beef imports is envisaged as increasing by 10,000 tonnes in 1978/79 subject to demand :

. high quality beef is to be derived from lot fed cattle only and Australian authorities will certify each consignment as being derived from lot fed animals -

. part of the high quality beef imports will be against a special hotel quota; the remainder will be imported under general quota partly as selected frozen cuts and partly as chilled sets of cuts

from full carcases or quarters

The Minister recalled that the Japanese Government had announced

in January 1978 that efforts would be made to increase annual

imports of high quality beef by 10,000 tonnes. This was the type

of beef required for the hotel and restaurant, trade.

The Japanese decision on high quality beef had been part of an

agreement between Japan and the USA on a range of measures which

Japan would implement to try and ease Japan's considerable balance

of trade surplus. .

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Mr Sinclair said that there had been some concern in the Australian

industry that high quality beef would be imported mainly from

the USA and would erode Australia's beef market in Japan. The

purpose of the Australian mission had been to clarify this

situation and to press for Australia to have the opportunity to

compete in this segment of the market.

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"I am very pleased that the arrangements reached between the

mission and Japanese authorities will ensure that Australia will

be able to compete for sales for this type of beef to Japan",

Mr Sinclair said. . ,

The Minis/ter said that the Japanese authorities had assured the

mission that they would also continue to import chilled pasture

fed beef and frozen beef from Australia under the same arrangements

as currently apply for imports of these classes of beef.

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