Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest is using his strong Chinese relationships to push Australian agriculture in the region.
Earlier this year Forrest, through his company Mindaroo, closed a $40 million deal to acquire Western Australian processor Harvey Beef. There’s more on that here.
In Sydney today he is looking to strengthen the Asian powerhouse’s appetite for Australian agriculture as he attends the Business Council of Australia’s first Australia Sino Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership (ASA 100).
“Heightened, long term, predictable demand will encourage Australian farmers and associated industries to return to the passion and on-farm investment which in years past, typified their industries,” Forrest said.
“Only this, when combined with strong collaboration and cohesive leadership, will ensure Australia takes her rightful place as the major global player in Chinese food and natural product supply.”
The meeting, which includes 50 members from each country, aims to elevate Australia as a primary food and agriculture exporter to China.
“The Australian agricultural industry has come together to demonstrate we are united and a highly collaborative industry supplying China, as opposed to marketing our industry state by state, sector by sector or even company by company,” Forrest said.
China is Australia’s biggest export market, accounting for $7.49 billion or 19.6% of all agriculture exports in the 2012/13 financial year.