NORTHERN Beef Futures (NBF) has hosted a Thai delegation investigating trade and investment opportunities in the WA beef sector this week.
Comprising Thai ambassador Chirachai Punkrasin, government agriculture and investment officials and supply-chain commercial interests, the delegation spent five days inspecting cattle and facilities in the Kimberley, Pilbara and around Perth.
Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) grains and livestock executive director Peter Metcalfe said facilitating the delegation was aimed at developing "new market options and innovative business models which are transformational for the WA cattle industry".
"The delegation was interested in visiting WA based on its geographically diverse production system, established capability in live exports and reputation for processing high quality export boxed beef," Mr Metcalfe said.
Its members met with producers on pastoral stations, inspected cattle, export loading facilities in Broome and the NBF mosaic agriculture trials being conducted on Wallal Downs and Birdwood Downs stations to assess grass and legume pastures potential.
Around Perth they visited saleyards, quarantine facilities and Fremantle Port.
The visit followed missions to Thailand by representatives from NBF and the WA private sector in the past two years.
According to DAFWA, beef cattle exports to Thailand have risen steadily during the past five years.
Further growth is forecast due to recently-established protocols for feeder cattle and planned tariff reductions for boxed beef under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The 2005 agreement eliminated 94 per cent of tariffs and quotas applying to imports from Australia in 2010, with more scheduled to go this year and in 2020.
Mr Metcalfe said this visit was part of broader project work by NBF to facilitate establishment of new markets and develop integrated supply chains for the local beef industry.
NBF is a four-year project funded by Royalties for Regions which aims to build the northern beef sector to a more prosperous, sustainable and resilient pastoral industry.