Beef cattle farmers have the chance to significantly increase their exports without paying any tariffs.
The UK has opened its doors to an influx of Aussie wine, cheese, beef, and lamb in a historic trade deal said to have "knocked it out of the park" for Australian farmers.
They will gain almost unfettered access to the 67 million people from the minute a free trade agreement - estimated to be worth about $1.3 billion a year to Australia's economy - kicks in, according to details revealed last night by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
He said the deal was a "significant boost" for farmers and an "incredibly important" opportunity to diversify trade, amid continuing problems with China.
The UK government managed to win concessions to keep a cap on tariff-free imports of Australian beef, lamb, dairy, and sugar — but within five to 15 years those caps disappear.
Even at their most stringent, the limits would allow Aussie sheep farmers to more than triple their sales to the UK before hitting the cap and more than 10 times as much beef sugar and dairy to be shipped in tax-free, based on 2019 figures from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
Dmitry Grozoubinski, who worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a trade negotiator for several years until 2017 but now runs a trade consultancy in Geneva, said the deal was a "tremendous outcome" for Australia.
"They've done really, really well," he said.
"They weren't playing for the world but in terms of what they were playing for, they knocked it out of the park."
But Mr. Grozoubinski stressed the deal was unlikely to revolutionise or even significantly alter Australia's economy and the UK market didn't come close to making up for business lost to China's escalating trade war. Although some have argued it provides important strategic support.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson freely admitted his country couldn't compete with China on buying power but said it stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Australia.
"Nobody wants to descend into a new Cold War with China," he said.
"We don't see that as the way forward.
"This is a difficult relationship, where it is vital to engage with China in as positive a way as we can, but where there are difficulties which there evidently are, it's vital that allies, UK, Australia, work together."
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street.
Mr. Grozoubinski said there was a big difference between having access to the UK and convincing Brits to buy more beef, lamb, and other Australian products.
"It's not 100 percent clear that there will be so you know, is this going to be transformational to the Australian economy? No," the ExplainTrade founder said.
"But it's certainly a market we'll have significantly more access to when it comes to agriculture and that's a win."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also pointed out the benefits for Australian winemakers, whisky drinkers, and young people looking to live in the UK.
Mr. Grozoubinski said while dropping the farm work requirement for Brits on working holiday visas could be considered a negative, it was difficult to see how there could be any more significant losses for Australia without more detail.
But the agreement, hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "new dawn", has been copping considerably more heat in the UK, where farmers are concerned about being forced to compete with much larger producers in Australia on price.
The UK Trade and Business Commission is worried British farmers will become "collateral damage" as they "struggle to compete with the scale of industrial farming from Australia who can offer cheaper produce due to the availability of space and their lower food safety and animal welfare standards compared to Britain."
The National Farmers Union had been campaigning heavily for safeguards to prevent local producers being overrun but was still going over the detail of the caps on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning AEST).
"The risks here are enormous for the whole food and drink supply chain and, in the absence of any formal impact assessment to suggest the contrary, we remain hugely concerned at the impact on sensitive sectors of our industry," representatives from Scotland's farming, supply chain and food industries said in a recent open letter.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Aussie food safety standards after concerns by UK farmers.
NFU President Minette Batters also immediately raised concerns about the lack of detail on animal welfare and environmental standards.
One of the major worries from British farmers had been the use of antibiotics in Australian beef and chlorine-washing of chickens — both banned in England — providing Aussie farmers an unfair advantage.
British politicians have promised no such meat would be sold in the UK and Mr. Morrison defended Australian farming practices when asked on Tuesday whether farmers would be forced to match the standards of their UK competitors.
"Australian standards are very high, and we're well respected for our standards for animal welfare all around the world," he said.
Australia is the UK's 14th largest trading partner, accounting for £13.9 billion ($25.5 billion) of exports and imports last year, according to British government statistics. The relationship is even more important to Australia, which counts Britain as its fifth-largest trading partner.
Even still, Mark Melatos, an associate professor of economics at the University of Sydney, said the impact would likely be relatively small and Mr. Grozoubinski agreed.
The UK Department for International Trade said in July 2020 that a zero-tariff trade agreement with Australia is expected to increase UK GDP by 0.02 percent over the next 15 years.
RMIT University international business expert Gabriele Suder said she expected the deal would add $1.3 billion a year to the Australian economy.
A spokesperson for Morrison said the countries intend to finalise the agreement by November and enact it by July 2022.