Author Topic: Saudi market a challenge for ESCAS move  (Read 1705 times)

Export News Tasmania

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Saudi market a challenge for ESCAS move
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 06:52:53 PM »
PHASE two of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is set to be in place by the end of this month, but there are fears that some markets will not be compliant.  As a result of the Indonesian live cattle export ban last year the ESCAS was brought in throughout all export markets following recommendations from the Bill Farmer Review.
Tranche 2 markets include Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates (UAE) and all are supposed to be ESCAS compliant by August 31. 

But according to exporters, Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia will not make that deadline.
Exporters believe Oman and UAE could be up to date shortly after the deadline which should have limited impact, but Saudi Arabia was not expected to be online with ESCAS until next year. 

WA Live Exporters Association (WALEA) chairman John Edwards said Saudi Arabia presented a number of different issues compared to other markets.
"For the Middle East markets we are reasonably confident in saying that a market like Israel and Jordan will hopefully be compliant by the implementation date," Mr Edwards said.  "Saudi presents a number of issues. 

"One of them being its geographical size and population in respect to how the ESCAS has been rolled out into other markets. 
"Saudi presents very traditional selling and distribution systems throughout the country and there are huge issues in terms of its land mass."

Mr Edwards said Saudi would likely become compliant next year but he was unable to confirm a specific date. 

"Right from day one, we reiterated the issues Saudi would have with ESCAS," he said.

"They certainly have no issues in respect to animal welfare improvements within the marketplace.
"Animal welfare is first and foremost their business and our business. 

"They just have issues which surround the workability of the regulation in the marketplace and also the way in which the Australian Government has and still is handling it."

He said exporters had hoped for a possible exemption or an extension on the ESCAS date, so the trade with Saudi could continue but admitted it would be unlikely. 

Mr Edwards said industry had warned the Australian Government of what would happen if it tried to implement a one size fits all system. 
"We suggested in industry-government dealings early on, that this would have been a proactive move by the Australian Government to facilitate, rather than just say my way or the highway," he said.

Wellard Rural Exports Middle East livestock trading general manager Garry Robinson said the company's focus was on Oman, UAE and Saudi.
He said despite Oman and UAE not being compliant until after the deadline, he didn't believe it would impact their shipping program.
"Those two particular markets have not been big markets," Mr Robinson said.  "But with the recent easing back in sheep price over the past few months they have taken some quantities. They represent opportunities going forward if ESCAS compliance can be achieved. 
"Saudi in my opinion will be a difficult option for some time."

Mr Robinson said without Saudi in the market it may have an impact on prices back to the farmgate. 

Mr Robinson said he also had deep concerns as to whether the current facilities and marketing structures available in Saudi could support the ESCAS regulatory system.
"The only way to increase business there is a complete change in marketing process which does not come quickly and a significant investment by importer and/or exporters in privatised facilities which can accommodate the regulatory regime and maintain the control to the point of slaughter because at the moment that is not how it works," he said. 

A spokesperson for Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said ESCAS worked because it was the responsibility of the exporter to ensure supply chains met international welfare standards - the standards required under ESCAS. 

"There are a number of factors which influence the trade of sheep to Saudi Arabia, including the market price for Australian livestock," the spokesperson said.
"It is ultimately a commercial decision for exporters as to whether they take steps to meet ESCAS requirements.
"Minister Ludwig visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain earlier this year, meeting with ministerial counterparts and importers of Australian livestock.
"The Minister emphasised Australia's commitment to a long-term sustainable trade, and the Australian Government continues to work with trading partners."

TYSON CATTLE 27 Aug, 2012

« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 06:54:55 PM by Export News Tasmania »