Forum - Free Trade Agreements

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Free-Trade Agreements

What do they mean for Australian Agribusiness?

Wednesday 5th August 2015 - 9.00am - 1.00pm

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Brett Hughes

Director (Trade and Market Access Division, Department of Agriculture, North Asia)

Brett has worked for the Department of Agriculture for over 20 years, much of which has been focussed on agricultural trade, including bilateral trading relationships with Australia’s key agricultural markets, and Australia’s agricultural policy engagement with multilateral and plurilateral organisations such as the OECD, APEC and UN FAO. He has served overseas as an Agriculture Counsellor in the Australian Embassy in Rome (as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation) and more recently as Australia’s Agriculture Counsellor to Japan in the Australian Embassy Tokyo (where he was responsible for the bilateral agricultural trade and market access relationship with Japan). He has previously been involved in a range of bilateral FTA negotiations and implementation as well the regional ASEAN-Australian & NZ (AANZFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. More recently he was involved in the finals stages of the agriculture goods negotiations of the Japan (JAEPA) and China (ChAFTA) Free Trade Agreements, and implementation arrangements for the three North Asian Free Trade Agreements. He holds a Bachelor Degree from the Australian National University in Political Science (International Relations), Economics/Economic History.

Tony Mahar

Deputy CEO (National Farmers’ Federation)

Tony joined the NFF as General Manager, Policy and Manager, Economics and Trade in July 2012, and was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. Tony has outstanding experience in policy development and implementation in the food and agribusiness sectors and has worked extensively with executive level leaders in analysing, developing and influencing key policies and programs relating to industry competitiveness, innovation and sustainability. His focus at the NFF has included managing economic policy, trade market access advocacy and competition policy. Tony’s 20 year history in the public and private agribusiness sector has contributed to his exceptional capacity to lead and work with a range of stakeholders including all levels of industry, government and community organisations on a range of complex issues.

Charlie McElhone

Group Manager (Trade & Industry Strategy, Dairy Australia)

Charlie McElhone joined Dairy Australia (DA) as Group Manager – Trade & Industry Strategy in June 2012, the division responsible for facilitating profitable international trade of Australian dairy products and providing information, analysis and market intelligence to the Australian dairy industry. This includes ensuring the industry’s interests are upheld in the vital area of international trade policy reform, as well as providing factual advice on potential impacts of domestic policies in areas such as water, carbon and chemicals regulation. Charlie came to DA from the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), where he was the General Manager of Policy. Apart from overseeing all policy activities of the NFF, he also took primary carriage of the organisation’s advocacy in the Economics and Trade portfolios and led NFF’s efforts on carbon mitigation policy in relation to the carbon tax and the Carbon Farming Initiative.

Gary Barnes

Project Officer (Food and Agribusiness Team, Austrade)

Gary Barnes represents Austrade’s Food and Agribusiness team, focussing on Australia’s education and training capabilities across these sectors. Prior to Austrade Brisbane, Gary was Manager, International Market Development at the University of Queensland from 2010 – 2014 in a role to develop and manage university partnerships, market development and student recruitment. Gary also had a similar role as Regional Manager, North Asia region for the Queensland University of Technology from 2007 to 2010. Gary is a Japanese speaker and has lived in Japan for 14 years working in several roles. Gary studied a Bachelor of Asian Studies, Japanese major from the University of New England and has a trade certificate in Engineering.

Howard Hansen

Managing Director & Owner
(Hansen Orchards, Huon Valley, Tasmania)

Hansen Orchards are a 4th generation family owned vertically integrated business growing, packing and marketing cherries and apples both for domestic and international markets. Challenges in the Tasmanian fruit industry are nothing new which Howard is meeting head-on through a consumer-driven combination of investment, innovation and expansion. The vision at Hansen Orchards is to strengthen the growing global demand and recognition for premium Tasmanian cherries and apples. Howard believes that with the right product at the right time the opportunities are as great as they always have been. Since the introduction of cherries into the business in 1997, Hansen Orchards’ cherries have gained a reputation for excellence. They are now sought after domestically with annual supplies to Woolworths and the Asian markets, and with exports to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and also Russia. Howard is a Marcus graduate of the Diploma of Farm Management (’94) and holds a Graduate Excellence Award (2005).

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Marcus Oldham College, 145 Pigdons Rd Waurn Ponds, Geelong

ph: 03 5247 2900
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