The week's news and insights from the National Farmers' Federation
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Welcome to the NFF’s Weekly Wrap, bringing you the week’s farming and political news each Friday.
Applications open for leading mentoring program
On International Women’s Day, Monday 8 March, the NFF opened applications for its Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program. Now in its fourth year, the Program offers a unique mentoring opportunity for women with a passion for growing Australian agriculture. Apply here.
Government extends international freight assistance
Yesterday, the Federal Government announced it was extending its International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) to 30 September 2021. The news was welcomed by industry who called the IFAM Program, and its extension, a critical life line for a number of export dependant agricultural commodities.
President Fiona Simson joins Q&A panel
Last night, NFF President Fiona Simson joined a panel on ABC’s Q&A to discuss a range of issues currently impacting the nation, including economic recovery and carbon emissions. The episode is available to watch on ABC iView.
Farmers encouraged to have their say on FMD scheme
The Federal Government announced a review of its Farm Management Deposit Scheme this week, aimed at ensuring the program remains fit for purpose. Farmers are being asked to have their say on the program via a survey that can be accessed here.

Digital Capability Tool launched
nbn has developed an online tool aimed at measuring your digital capability. The 'Digital Capability Tool' measures your progress and provides useful tips and resources to help develop your digital skills. Click here to try it for free.
Weekly insight
Australia’s wool recovery slow and steady
According to the latest Agribusiness Monthly report from Rabobank, Australia’s wool market has been slowly improving through the first few months of 2021. Rabobank expects recovery in global consumer demand to lift wool prices in 2021 and for the Eastern Market Indicator to trade between 1300 and 1500 cents per kilo in 2021.

Source: Rabobank, 2021
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Europe's protectionism comes into play at every turn

This week, the European Union made headlines after its Parliament voted to introduce a carbon levy on products from countries lacking serious movement towards carbon emission reductions.

According to the European Parliament, there is concern around a lack of cooperation by some of the European Union’s trading partners to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Given that Australia does not currently have a cohesive climate change plan in place, there are fears that the tariff could impact Australian producers despite Australia’s agriculture industry already having a clear CZN 2050 position in place with strict caveats.

Coupled with these fears is concern over the fact that Australia is currently negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union, an already tense discussion given issues such as open market access and labelling.

This has led some to call out Europe’s protectionism tactics, pointing out the fact that over the past few years, Europe has resorted to protectionism in response to hurdles at the negotiating table.

Late last year, industry issued a stern warning to government on the topic of regulations, warning that any attempt from the European Union to dictate Australian regulations should be resisted.

The warning was issued following a request from the European Union to extend its Geographical Indication (GIs) protections to Australia and Australian products. Such protections would essentially forbid Australian producers from using generic terms sch as feta, brie and scotch beef.

As Australia’s second largest destination for goods exports, the European Union is an important trading relationship for the nation and securing the right deal for farmers is paramount.

A deal that includes a tariff-free and quota-free access to the EU market is the only viable solution for Australia’s agriculture industry.

Going forward, the European Parliament will work on establishing a framework for the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and determine whether industries such as agriculture will be included.
Quote of the week
"We’ve set out target and now we need to work on the path to get there, let’s be clear about that. We’ve set the target and there are a lot of things we need to do to get there. We believe we’re well on the way. ”

Sent by the National Farmers' Federation, NFF House, 14-16 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600

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