We might be lulled into thinking that Korea only has a fondness of barbequed beef and K-POP, but the KAFTA agreement has us looking past Gangnam Style. Since the Korean-Australian Free Trade Agreement was signed six months ago, Australia has recorded strong increases in agricultural exports across the board, and in markets you’d least expect.
The cutting of tariffs gained under KAFTA have boosted agricultural exports, Australian jobs and farm-gate returns, and is another powerful reminder of how critical free trade deals are for our nation’s future.
So who are the big winners since the KAFTA signing? It appears goats and cherries are Korea’s clear favourites, with us Aussies seeing a 43 per cent growth in goat export, making Korea Australia’s third largest goat meat market. Beef, the Audrey Hepburn of the export list – a classic and in-demand sort of meat, has also seen a growth of 30 per cent.
The elimination of the 24 per cent tariff on cherries has seen an export increase of an incredible 5,000 per cent. That is a lot of cherries and presumably a lot of Korean’s with sore stomachs from your typical stone-fruit over indulgence. Further increases have been witnessed in grapes, macadamias, wine, dairy products and much more.
There you have it. The proof is in the cherry pudding. The benefits to farmers as a result of this free trade agreement is in the numbers.