ACBC Holds Australia-China Agribusiness and Climate Change Summit

13 May 2022
Posted By: ACBC VIC Branch

On Friday 6 May 2022, The Australia China Business Council was proud to host the annual Australia-China Agribusiness Summit on the topic of Climate Change Collaboration in Melbourne with event partner Coles and event supporters Agriculture Victoria and The Langham Melbourne.

Capitalising on the momentum of the ACBC Green Channel and recent high-level decarbonisation dialogues held by the ACBC, this year’s Summit gave voice to shared challenges and opportunities surrounding climate change and identified real avenues for collaboration between Australia and China in the agriculture and food sector.

Involving high-level guests from DFAT, Austrade, Global Victoria, the Chinese Consulate, the Chinese Chamber of Foodstuffs, ACBC’s vast network of member companies and more, the Summit was a powerful reminder that cross-border people-to-people engagement between industry and enterprise is the foundation of our bilateral engagement with China.

Over four distinct sessions including plenary, speakers provided critical updates and shared advice contributing to a re-aligning of Australia-China business interests on the path to net-zero:

  • Minister for Agriculture, The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP & China’s Consul General to Melbourne Mr Long Zhou, reinforced the shared vision for a greener trade and investment relationship.
  • Elders Managing Director & CEO, Mark Allison, as Chair of Agribusiness Australia, reinforced the sector’s ongoing commitment to working with nature to feed the people of the planet.
  • Meat & Livestock Australia are also on a journey to sustainability and Managing Director Jason Strong shared their CN30 agenda.
  • Eyes were opened to the advanced state of China’s Agri sector when Mr Yaoming Yuan from Bright Dairy & Food Co shared their extensive zero carbon initiatives.
  • China Policy’s Philippa Jones highlighted the key driver of China’s Green agenda is evidenced in elements of China’s current 5-year plan.
  • Deputy Secretary General of the China Meat Association Ms Michelle Hu further reinforced the collaborative theme by sharing their extensive global commitments to a net-zero future through China’s massive reforestation program in Brazil. Demonstrating an encyclopaedic knowledge of Australia’s industry, Ms Hu highlighted key opportunities for collaboration with Australia on carbon-neutral reporting and producer quality control protocols.
  • ACBC National Board Member and Westpac Agribusiness Manager Laura Mattiazzi facilitated a dynamic session with Ms Hu, Michael Toby (Costa Group), Helen Dornom (Dairy Australia) and Kirsten Gray (Treasury Wine Estates). Speakers all shared the diverse ways their companies are working to achieve the common sustainability goal.
  • Mdm Yu Lu, Vice President of the China Chamber of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA) provided granular detail on the bilateral import & export relationship and key insights into China’s domestic agriculture sector focus. Mdm Lu emphasised the opportunity for closer collaboration on decarbonisation initiatives across food production, distribution and global trade.
  • Closing out the panel sessions, Dairy Australia’s Sarah Xu shared insights into dairy industry commitments to net-zero and facilitated an informative AgriTech session with KPMG’s Ben van Delden and UQ’s Professor Ben Hayes.

Climate change will continue to present an unprecedented and unsolved challenge to food and agricultural production. Meaningful collaboration to fight this common challenge will form a unique platform for engagement between Australian and Chinese partners.

In summarising the day, Coles’ Dr Will Mulholland reinforced the sentiment of all in the room, and the many joining online from across Australia and China, that today’s Green Channel Agribusiness Summit was the first step in a long journey towards closer cross-border collaboration and a greener food future.

The ACBC is committed to ensuring that the debate and discussions around our relationship with China are increasingly sophisticated and nuanced and targeted towards common grounds for collaboration.

Look out for our Green Channel themed content and events and join us as we highlight the opportunities from our shared journey towards a Net Zero economy – faster, together.

Download Executive Summary here

View and download event photos here