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Australian Agribusiness Review

Volume 8 - 2000

ISSN 1442-6951

Information? or the Editors Network

Paper 1

May 4, 2000

Invigorating the Asian-Pacific Food Economy: APECíS Role

Professor Kym Anderson, School of Economics and Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide.

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) proposed in September 1998 that APEC leaders take joint action to develop a so-called APEC Food System to boost the food sector's contribution to the prosperity of APEC's economies. ABAC believes aggregate food needs could be met in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way, and in such a way that people feel more food-secure and the poor are better off. It sees the need for developing more extensive rural infrastructure, in terms of both physical and human capital; for importing, adapting and adopting new farm and food technologies; and for reducing impediments to international food trade and investment.
In reviewing the ABAC proposal, this paper addresses the following questions: Why is now the right time to focus on this ABAC proposal? What would be its effects? In particular, how would food security in the region be affected? What initiatives or actions are still required by governments, non-government organizations and the private sector to ensure its development? And what policy options are available for contributing and adjusting to it?

Paper 2

June 2, 2000

Ross Kingwell, Senior Adviser & Visiting senior lecturer, Agriculture Western Australia & University of Western Australia.

Commonly when people talk of risk they mean the possibility of loss or harm. However, strictly speaking, this exposure to adversity is only part of risk. It is downside risk. More generally, risk refers to a range of uncertainties (upside and downside) that affect a personís welfare.
Farmers faces many risks. The two most commonly mentioned risks tend to be yield and price risk, although as mentioned later, there are several other important sources of risk affecting farm businesses. This article concentrates on price risk faced by broad acre farmers in Australia.

Paper 3

June 22, 2000

Beef Consumption in Japan: What can be learnt from Sub-National Data?

Ruth Stroppiana and Paul Riethmuller - Department of Economics, The University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Japan consists of four large islands - Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu - and roughly 7 000 smaller islands and islets. In terms of natural terrain and climatic conditions Japan is a diverse country. There are also differences in the history, life styles and dietary habits of people living in different parts of Japan. This paper investigates the relationship between the consumption of beef and income, prices, and selected socio-economic factors in nine Japanese regions. The analysis found that consumption of beef at the regional level is influenced to differing degrees by income and by the prices of substitutes. In the heavily populated Kanto region, for example, containing the metropolises of Tokyo and Yokohama, the demand for beef was found to be not very responsive to changes in income, compared to the predominantly rural region of Hokkaido. This suggests that changes in income will have a relatively small impact on beef consumption in the Kanto region, compared to its effect on beef consumption in Hokkaido. A more general conclusion that can be drawn from the results is that programs designed to increase beef consumption in one part of Japan may need to be modified for other parts of the country if this same objective is to be achieved.

Paper 4

August 3, 2000

Quality, Uncertainty and Consumer Valuation of  Fruits & Vegetables

Kate Owen - Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, Vic Wright - Associate Professor with the School of Marketing and Management at the University of New England & Garry Griffith - Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture, Armidale

This paper reports on the results of three studies into consumersí perceptions of the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, the links with "value", and its effect on purchase behaviour. The discussion centres on the premises that underpin differentiation strategies, such as branding and price: quality associations, and the necessary conditions for consumers to respond to these. The findings suggest that producers and marketers in the horticultural industry need to view their product through the same holistic lens as the consumer, to find the synthesis of its attributes rather than to treat them in isolation, which appears to have been the case.

Paper 5 

October 11, 2000

Do Canadian Pork Imports Influence New South Wales Pigmeat Prices? 

G.R. Griffith Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture Beef Centre, Armidale, NSW and H-S (Christie) Chang, Senior Lecturer, School of Economic Studies, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

In September 1989 the Australian Government announced an in-principle decision to lift the existing ban on importation of unprocessed pork, specifically for Canadian product. The decision was confirmed in July 1990, the formal protocols were signed soon after and imports from Canada began arriving in August 1990. In the first year, import levels were generally minor. However, from July 1991 there was a sustained increase in volumes. Total imports for 1991/92 were over 4000 tonnes compared with about 1000 tonnes for the preceding year. This increase in imports coincided with a dramatic fall in farm prices for pigs in early 1992.
Since the late 1980s, the pig industry had been a vocal critic of the decision to allow in Canadian imports on the grounds of possible disease risk and that Canadian producers were heavily subsidised. The large fall in farm prices in early 1992 heightened this concern and the Australian Pork Corporation was instructed to prepare and submit a case for the imposition of countervailing duties. On receipt of the submission, the Australian Customs Service initiated a dumping and subsidy inquiry which was reported in November 1992.

Paper 6

October 12th, 2000

The Anatomy of Australia's Wine Boom: Lessons for Other Industries

Kym Anderson - School of Economics and Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide.

The rural sector's share of Australia's exports has been declining for decades. Having been above 60 per cent prior to the 1960s it was around 40 per cent in the 1970s but has been barely above 20 per cent in the 1990s. Nonetheless, Australia's rural exports continue to expand in aggregate value and volume terms and, within that aggregate, some industries are doing much better than others. This raises the question as to what can be learnt from the successful cases.
There is no more spectacular success story than the wine industry during the past decade or so. Nor is there a better time than now to improve the rural sector's export performance, for a number of reasons. Firstly there is an increasing demand for a greater variety of products as incomes grow globally. That is manifesting itself in, among other things, growth in demand for a wider range of exotic foods from foreign countries. One consequence is a rise in the share of processed food in global agricultural and processed food exports: that share rose from one-third in the 1960s to one-half in the 1970s, and it is now around three-fifths. Specialization in production and intra-industry trade between countries in processed food (including beverages) is likely to continue to grow with incomes and with consumer exposure to exotic foods through travel, providing expanding opportunities for value-added rural exports

Paper 7

October 12th, 2000

Cooperation in Tropical North Queenslandís Nature-Based Tourism Industry

Twan Huybers, University of New South Wales and Jeff Bennett Australian National University.

In this paper, the results of a survey of nature based tourism operators in Tropical North Queensland are presented. While operators compete with each other for the business of the tourists who visit the region, they cooperate in their collective competition with other tourism destinations. The paper documents the historical development of competition and cooperation in the regionís tourism industry. It also discusses the areas of cooperation between tourism business operators. The two major areas of cooperation are destination promotion and activities regarding environmental protection.