Industry Focus

Trade and Labour


ITS Global: International Trade Review 

In 2018, APL commissioned ITS Global, a trade consultancy, to provide an updated review of the international trade landscape. This research summary provides an overview of the findings and recommendations of the review. If you would like to obtain a copy of the complete report, please contact Mr Andrew Robertson, Policy Manager – Trade and Workforce, at or call on (02) 6270 8888.

Research summary

Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Australian pork industry is the only food industry operating in a global market in the true sense. The industry competes in the export arena, with markets in Asia, and products are imported into Australia from North America and Europe.

There is huge potential to exploit growing demand for pig meat. Over several years, APL has taken part in the Australian Government’s industry consultations to negotiate FTAs with our major trade partners to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to provide greater export opportunities.

APL provided these submissions on behalf of the industry to progress our trade interests:

APL’s Submission on proposed Canadian participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Supplementary submission regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

For further information, please contact the APL Policy Division on 1800 789 099.

China Market Access

APL commissioned research into the commercial demand for Australian pork in China – the world’s largest pork market. The report, China’s Market for Australian pork, presents and analyses the results of a survey of Chinese importers. It provides further context on China’s market conditions and trade policy directions.

China’s market for Australian pork


APL acknowledges that pig producers may have experienced difficulties in recruiting qualified people at all levels of employment within the industry. Lack of staff can mean lower pig productivity, risk to occupational health and safety and an impact on pig welfare. Worker shortages have been a large challenge to production, with some producers forced to rely on casual labour. There are ways to find alternative labour strategies that APL has investigated on your behalf including labour agreements.

Labour agreements provide a standard template for the employment of overseas workers with skills relevant to the pork industry. Having a template labour agreement in place means that there is now a pre-existing set of terms and conditions for sponsored employment under a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482). This allows skilled workers to come to Australia and work for an approved business for up to five years.

The main requirements are:

  • Qualification equivalent to AQF III in Agriculture (Pig Production) and three years’ experience, or at least five years’ experience in the pig industry
  • Overseas workers will be provided a salary (market salary rate or the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), whichever is the greater for a 44 hour working week rather than a standard 38 hour working week
  • That the employer meet the training requirements for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)
  • That overseas workers may transition to a permanent visa (Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) if they have held a 457 visa in the occupation of Senior Stockperson (Piggery) for a minimum period of three years.

Further information on industry labour agreements is available from the Home Affairs website.

Pork Industry Template Agreement

Information on the pork industry labour agreement

Requesting a labour agreement

Using Migration Agents information

Submission on labour hire industry in Queensland

Submission on Temporary Skilled Migration


The National Farmers Federation (NFF) and APL, have developed a checklist to provide guidance to producers when employing workers or contactors. The aim is to help protect producers when engaging workers or contractors by making sure they have relevant documentation in place and to demonstrate that they have asked the right questions.

The checklist will help to ensure:

  • workers have a legal right to work;
  •  employers and workers and are informed of their rights;
  • safety risks are managed in accordance with relevant laws with appropriate insurance policies in place;
  • skills and training are provided as appropriate; and,
  • records are kept and pay slips are provided as required.

Checklist templates are below.

Labour contracting principles

Sustainable contracting principles

For further information, please contact the APL Policy Division on 1800 789 099.