Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 20 March, 2012

NFF joins trade delegation

NFF President Jock Laurie is this afternoon travelling to Jakarta as part of the Government's delegation to broaden Australia's trade and investment relationship with Indonesia.

Mr Laurie will join with Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Craig Emerson, and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joe Ludwig, on the two-day visit to Indonesia, Australia's third-largest agricultural export market.

Monitor: March rate movements

The March Agribusiness Loan Monitor, released by the NFF today, shows that only one financial institution has reduced agribusiness loan rates in the past month, while two have increased rates.

While ANZ has reduced its term loan rates by 0.14 percent since the previous Monitor, the Commonwealth Bank and Suncorp both increased rates by 0.10 percent during this time - despite the RBA leaving rates on hold at 4.25 percent and the majority of banks following suit by holding rates steady.

For more information, read our media release, or download the NFF Agribusiness Loan Monitor.

Farming: a 'Job for the Future'

The Prime Minister has this week announced an additional $7.2 billion in funding for the vocational education and training (VET) sector over the next five years to upskill Australians and ensure 'jobs for the future'.

The NFF has welcomed the announcement, which comes at a time when the agricultural sector is facing a serious skills and labour shortage.

We were disappointed that the Prime Minister didn't mention the huge range of jobs available in agriculture and its related industries in the funding announcement - despite the fact that the wider agricultural sector already employs 1.6 million Australians, with many more needed to fill the industry's current labour shortage and future growth opportunities as we enter the 'Asian century'.

So, while we welcomed the announcement, we are calling on the Government to show a real commitment to the future of our farm sector through the ‘Skills for all Australians’ VET reform. For more, read our media release.

Coming up at NFF

> Blueprint forums in WA, NT and NSW
The first Blueprint forums for 2012 were held in Toowoomba in early March, with some 400 farmers in attendance. This week, the Blueprint hits the road to WA, with a forum scheduled for this Friday 23 March in Perth, following the WAFarmers centenary conference.

Next week, Blueprint will travel to the NT, with a forum scheduled for Darwin on Thursday 29 March, ahead of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association conference next Friday.

In early April, the Blueprint will roll into NSW, with a forum scheduled for Wagga Wagga on Wednesday 4 April. For more information on the Blueprint and dates and details of all the forums, please visit the Blueprint webpage or contact the NFF on 02 6269 5666.

> Sustainable Food Summit
The 2nd National Sustainable Food Summit will take place in Sydney in early April, supported by the NFF. The Summit will focus on how Australia's food system will need to transform to meet the challenge of feeding more people with less over the next century. For more information, visit the Summit website.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 12.

In this issue

NFF joins trade delegation

Monitor: March rate movements

Farming: a 'Job for the Future'

Coming up at NFF

Blueprint forums in WA, NT and NSW

Sustainable Food Summit

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