Food production Blueprint plan launched by national farming group and Westpac

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th October 2011

Australia’s peak farming industry body, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and multinational Australian-based Westpac bank have launched plans for a Blueprint for Australian Agriculture. The blueprint will allow Australia’s food producers to help map Australia’s role in global food production over the next 40 years.

Launching the Blueprint at Parliament House, Canberra, NFF President Jock Laurie said, “This initiative provides the opportunity for industry stakeholders to highlight the issues and challenges facing agriculture in Australia. Once complete, the blueprint will form a key policy document for Australian agriculture and will be presented to the Australian Government.”

Mr Laurie said, “Australia’s 140,000 farmers and the other 1.6 million people involved in agriculture and its related industries in Australia play a vitally important role in feeding and clothing our country and the world.”

According to latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australia exports 60 per cent of total agricultural production volume. In terms of value, this represents around 76 per cent of the total gross value of Australian agricultural production.

The United Nations recently predicted that global food production must increase by 70 percent to keep pace with population growth over the next 40 years.

According to figures from the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Australian farmers currently produce almost 93 percent of Australia’s domestic food supply.

Westpac’s Chief Executive of Regional Commercial and Agribusiness, Graham Jennings, said the initiative will help guide the farming sector towards a prosperous future. “The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture provides an opportunity for farmers and other interested stakeholders across the sector to bring together their experience and expertise and map out the future they wish to create for their generation and the next,” Mr Jennings said.