The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP


Media release

Wednesday, 7 August 2002 - MVT093

Asia's Trillion Dollar Food Market Ripe for the Picking

Australian agrifood suppliers should take advantage of rich business opportunities in Asia's fast changing A$1 trillion food retail and foodservice sectors, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

Mr Vaile comments came as he launched two new volumes of the DFAT study on Agrifood Globalisation and Asia at a Supermarket to Asia Council gathering in Sydney.

"Leading food retail and foodservice multinational corporations are rapidly increasing their presence in Asia. This is bringing historic change to Asia's agrifood distribution systems," Mr Vaile said.

Western retailers like Ahold, Carrefour and Wal-Mart are increasing their market share in Asia, while foodservice leaders like McDonalds are also working to improve their stake in Asia's fast food and institutional catering markets, worth at least US$200 billion.

Many Asian food retailing and foodservice companies remain significant, with local players still dominating Japan's US$350 billion food retailing market. "Tapping into these networks can pay off for Aussie food companies," Mr Vaile said.

Tariffs and quotas continue to restrict Agrifood exports to Asia, despite modest tariff cuts in recent years. "We will be trying to lower these barriers in WTO and FTA negotiations," Mr Vaile said.

The volumes are part of the Subsistence to Supermarket II project, which examines globalisation in the agrifood sector, especially in Asian markets. They address food trade and food distribution in Asia and provide a valuable one-stop guide for all Australian agrifood exporters interested in access to Asian markets. Volume 1 of the Study, Agrifood Multinational Corporations in Asia was released in December 2001. Volumes III, V and VI will be published later this year.

"This series is an invaluable tool to help Australia's companies gain market share in the fast developing global agrifood system," said Mr Vaile.

For copies see, or telephone: (02) 6261-3114.

Contact: Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02-6261 1555

DFAT Subsistence to Supermarket II Series*: Agrifood Globalisation and Asia

Key Findings

Volume II: Changing Agrifood Distribution in Asia:

  • analyses the increasing consolidation of global food retailing, lists the top 30 North American and European food retailers, and surveys their global presence;
  • analyses their entry into Asia, and the extent of their current operational presence there;
  • provides detailed profiles of the leading 15 food retailer MNCs;
  • surveys the leading Asian food retailers, and examines how they are withstanding the onslaught of the global retailers;
  • provides detailed profiles of the leading 20 Japanese food retailers and of 25 other leading Asian food retailers;
  • provides detailed profiles of the top 6 Japanese trading houses, focusing on their involvement in agrifood, including agrifood distribution, wholesaling & retailing;
  • analyses the increasing globalisation of retail foodservice and institutional catering, lists the leading global players in both sectors, and examines their presence in Asia;
  • provides detailed profiles of the top foodservice MNCs;
  • surveys key trends in the Japanese retail foodservice and institutional foodservice sector, and lists the top 20 Japanese foodservice companies;
  • provides detailed profiles of 10 leading Japanese foodservice companies.

    Vol. IV: Asia and the Agrifood Trade Framework:

  • examines the global agrifood trade framework and Asian economies' agrifood trade regimes, and issues for agriculture in the new WTO Doha Round.
  • details the tariff and other barriers facing Australian agrifood exporters in 14 Asian economies: Countries like Japan and Korea have high tariffs for many food items, averaging nearly 50%, with many much higher, well over 100%. ASEAN countries hover between continued protectionism in key agrifood sectors, recent liberalisation in others and complete openness. Both China and Taiwan are in the process of opening up their trade regimes, since joining the WTO at the end of 2001. South Asian economies like India are beginning to break away to varying degrees from the old self-sufficiency approaches.
  • analyses the importance of Australia's agrifood sector to our economy, with food and beverage exports in excess of $20 billion in 2000, and nearly $25 billion in 2001. The success of Australian agriculture is based on its increasing adjustment to global competition and changing global demand. Newer products have become major exports – for example rice, oilseeds, aquaculture, and wine. Australia exports about four times as much food as we import.
  • explores Australia's approaches to trade with the region.
  • notes importance of open markets Australian economic prosperity and examines the benefits Australia aims to gain from the new round of WTO negotiations, APEC and bilateral Free Trade Agreements.


    *A wide range of sponsors helped fund the DFAT agrifood globalisation study. Supermarket to Asia Limited has been the major sponsor, together with the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and Horticulture Australia. The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA), the Australian Dairy Corporation (ADC), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC), and the Australian Meat Council (AMC) also provided funding support, together with private sector sponsors Queensland Sugar Limited, Sugar Australia, Berri Limited, Coles Supermarkets, and Elders Limited. Sponsorship has also come from the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water & Environment, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of State Development, Victorian Department of Natural Resources & Environment, and Western Australian Department of Agriculture.

Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:01:20 EST


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