UNE hosted ‘RACT 23’ (International Conference on the Regulation of AgVet Chemicals & Technologies) in Armidale between the 6th and 9th of February. The conference focused on the current and emerging opportunities and challenges associated with regulating agricultural chemicals and technologies. #UNELaw’s Professor Paul Martin says, ‘the conference aims to examine the details and the overarching issues involved. Our concern is the overall competitiveness effects of the many small transactions and complexities that go with regulating the whole value chain’. The conference was successful, with over 100 participants from a broad spectrum of interests.  

The event was opened by UNE’s Interim Vice Chancellor, Simon Evans, and a presentation on research was given by UNE’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Chris Armstrong.

Professor Paul Martin

 #UNELaw’s Professor Paul Martin, Dr Sharl Marimuthu and Dr Andrew Lawson participated in the conference, and each gave an insightful presentation. Paul spoke on impediments to investment in innovative agriculture technology and regulation transaction costs. Sharl’s presentation was entitled ‘Test Tube ‘Steaks’ to ‘Burgers’ to Vertical Grown Veggies to Bug-a-licious Meals – How to Navigate the Legal Landscape of the Future Food Movement’. Further, Andrew presented on the expanded notion of AgVet ‘regulation’ and the role of non-statutory/non-government processes in AgVet governance. Paul, Sharl, and Andrew’s contributions were well received, and they are awaiting some potential collaborations!  

Why is UNE involved? Paul notes, ‘UNE is involved because we are very much involved in agricultural technology in many different ways, not just the technology itself but the policy and the law and all the associated things.’ 

Dr Sharl Marimuthu

The conference was attended by the following:  

  • Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
  • Corteva Agriscience
  • Drone That
  • Australian Centre for Agriculture & Law (UNE)
  • DTS Regulatory Consultants
  • Nufarm
  • Redcap Solutions Pty Ltd
  • Syngenta Australia Pty Ltd
  • Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
  • Aust Groundsprayers Assoc/SprayPASS
  • New Edge Microbials
  • ADAMA Australia Pty Ltd
  • Ceva Animal Health Pty Ltd
  • Troy Animal Healthcare
  • Farmers Business Network
  • Syngenta Crop Protection AG
  • Northern Territory Government
  • AKC Consulting
  • Elanco Australasia Pty Ltd
  • Virbac, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand
  • BASF
  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Trade Practices Commission
  • University of New England
  • CropLife Australia
  • Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
  • Animal Medicines Australia
  • Crop Protection Australia
  • Outback Lamb
  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  • Living Farm Pty Ltd
  • PG Economics United Kingdom
  • NSW Farmers
  • BioSafety
  • University of Queensland. 

 Congratulations to all involved!