The industry strongly endorses the launch of negotiations between Australia and the European Union (EU) on a Free Trade Agreement (A-EU FTA) and supports the Australian Government’s commitment to seek an ambitious and comprehensive FTA, prioritising enhanced access for agricultural products, including Australian red meat.

The current Australia-EU trade and investment relationship is substantial. Australia is a lucrative market for the EU, with the balance of trade being in the EU’s favour. The EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner, with two-way merchandise trade worth $99.6 billion (2016-17). Unfortunately, the Australian red meat and livestock industry only contributes a very small proportion to this trade.

The EU is a significant importer of red meat due to a deficit in domestic supply. Australia is ideally positioned to help service this market requirement, with dedicated supply chains focussed on meeting customer needs. 

For information on Australia’s red meat market access to the EU:

Via A-EU FTA negotiations, the EU-UK Red Meat Market Access Taskforce will seek to secure substantial improvements in Australian red meat market access to the EU.

Watch MLA's International Business Manager for the Europe & Russia region, Josh Anderson  discuss market access priorities and long term goals in the EU and UK markets on behalf of the Australian red meat and livestock industry:


Industry Taskforce

The EU-UK Red Meat Market Access Taskforce is the Australian  industry’s steering committee responsible for guiding and driving improvements in beef, sheepmeat and goat meat market access into the EU and UK. The Taskforce is chaired by Jason Strong and comprises producers, processors, exporters and industry council representatives. The role of the Taskforce is to deliver common views, on behalf of the broader industry, to the Australian Government – who are then responsible for representing these positions to European policy makers.


Brexit has resulted in uncertain times as the UK prepares to leave the EU. The current negotiations are extremely politically charged. The Australian industry awaits the outcome of a future EU-UK trading relationship to determine how Brexit may impact our trade in the future. The Taskforce is working in partnership with the Australian Government to ensure our red meat access trade is not disadvantaged by defending Australia’s existing red meat access to the EU and securing a non-discriminatory access regime with the UK.


The UK has historically been an important customer for Australian red meat. The incorporation of the UK into the EU in 1973 changed the trading relationship however, Brexit signifies an opportunity to reset trading ties. The Australian and UK governments are working together via the Australia-UK Trade Working Group (established September 2016) towards an A-UK FTA, post Brexit. The Taskforce is working with the Australian Government to promote the interests of the red meat industry in these discussions.



Australia is a lucrative market for the EU and the balance of trade is in the EU's favour. In 2017, more than double the amount of EU pork (68,649 tonnes) was exported to Australia than all of Australia’s red meat exports (32,143 tonnes) to the EU combined. 

Australia is currently restricted in trade by the EU’s low volume import quotas and high out-of-quota import tariffs. Australia consistently fills its country-specific quotas and once fully subscribed is unable to respond to additional EU customer demands for high quality imported red meat.

  • Overall AU-EU bilateral trade worth €46.7 billion in 2017

  • EU total trade surplus  €21.6 billion in 2017 

  • AU-EU total agrifood trade worth €5.46 billion in 2017

  • EU  agrifood trade surplus worth €1.17 billion in 2017 

Market Access

Market Access

Australia’s red meat market access to the EU is via the following tariff rate quotas. 


  • 7,150 tonnes of country specific High Quality Beef (HQB) quota with 20% in-quota tariff
  • Shared access to 45,000 tonne global grainfed beef quota with 0% in-quota tariff
  • Access above these quotas via import duties is 12.8% plus up to €3/kg 
  • Access (via EU importer held licences) to a frozen beef and frozen beef for processing quota - which at times source Australian product.

Sheepmeat / goatmeat:

  • 19,186 tonne country specific combined sheepmeat/goat meat quota with 0% in-quota duty
  • access above this quota via import duties of 12.8% plus up to €3.1/kg