The role of our network
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources works to develop and maintain international markets for the benefit of Australia’s agricultural industries through our Overseas Counsellor Network.
The network is an integral part of the department’s work in achieving better trade and market access outcomes for Australian agriculture, and consists of 22 Counsellors working in Australian missions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the UK and the America’s.
The overall purpose of our network is to pursue international market access in important and emerging markets for Australian portfolio industries including agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry. This involves:
- Working through international trade issues such as live animal exports, and progressing and resolving market access issues for our industries.
- Facilitating targeted technical assistance and agricultural cooperation in support of portfolio interests.
- Influencing the development of international standards for agricultural products and industries.
Our Overseas Counsellors
Our Overseas Counsellors are responsible for pursuing Australia’s agriculture, food, fisheries, forestry and water policy, and overall trade interests with the country they are posted to. They strive to develop valuable opportunities for Australia’s agricultural sector to grow, including exploring and developing new market opportunities for Australian farmers and exporters, maintaining existing market access, improving technical market access and providing market intelligence.
Our Counsellors provide Australia with useful information and data on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry policies of their host country, manage sensitive policy issues on behalf of the Australian Government, undertake speaking opportunities at seminars, represent Australia at meetings and negotiations, respond to requests for information, and help to progress market access requests. They also play an important role in rectifying any problems with Australian agricultural goods arriving overseas by working closely with international authorities, the Australian agricultural sector and the department's head office in Canberra.
The department’s strong contribution to Australia’s agricultural industries received a funding boost in the 2018-19 Budget, allowing for the expansion of our valuable network of Overseas Counsellors to new postings in Mexico City, Santiago and London.