Accessing premium markets involves a mix of considerations for Australian farmers. Taking note of these legal considerations is the first step when developing international business relationships:
- The legal environment should be as stable as possible. FTAs assist in that regard, and can provide important market advantages for Australian exporters that should not be treated lightly, even if not “perfect”.
- The Australian Government is trying to play its part in other ways, with limited success and even less appreciation. Understanding risk is essential, and covering off those risks in your own private arrangements with foreign buyers is critical.
- Consider also what happens should things not go well, as this will not only galvanise your foreign buyer to similar focus on the issue of compliance and to give your concerns due respect, but will also put you in the best position should something go wrong.
- Protect your rights, intellectual or otherwise, in accordance with the mechanisms afforded to you in the foreign country concerned.
All things considered, these things are no different to the things you would probably do when entering into a significant business relationship here in Australia, except that “familiarity” is lacking. Therefore, go out and get the advice you need, understand the market, and get to know the people you intend to do business with - things that can best be achieved by research, travel, engagement and relationship- building.
Author: Daniel Moulis | Moulis Legal
Presented: The 4th Annual Agribusiness Law Conference 2019