Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 26 June, 2012

NFF win on foreign investment

The Federal Government has announced that a working group will be established to consult on the development of a foreign ownership register - two months after the NFF and our members called for a register to be created.

The announcement shows the Government is listening to the industry's concerns on foreign ownership in Australian agriculture.

While the NFF has long maintained that foreign investment has traditionally been very positive for the Australian agricultural sector, we, and our members, remained concerned about any changes to the motivations behind investment – particularly motivations that are about ensuring other countries have sufficient food. The NFF will be working closely with the Government's working group. For more, read our release.

Five banks pass on cuts

After two RBA interest rate cuts in two months and repeated calls from the farm sector to reduce agribusiness loan rates, five financial lenders have passed on some cuts to their agribusiness customers, the NFF's June Agribusiness Loan Monitor has found.

The June Monitor shows that four banks, ANZ, Bank West, Bendigo Bank and Suncorp, have reduced both their term loan and overdraft rates by between 0.06 percent and 0.37 percent this month, while one bank, Westpac, has reduced its overdraft rate by 0.50 percent.

Chair of the NFF Economics Committee, John McKillop, has welcomed the reductions and has called on the other lenders to follow suit. For more, read our release or view the June Monitor.

Step closer to trade agreement

The NFF has welcomed the news that Mexico and Canada have joined the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Adding the weight of these countries to the collective TPP is positive news for the Australian farming sector and a step forward on international trade issues - good news in an area that for too long has had very little positive to say.

The TPP has the potential to form a basis for free trade across our region, and will contribute to Australia's efforts in achieving global trade legislation. The NFF will ensure the commitment to finalising the TPP by the end of this year is upheld. For more, read our release.

Talk's good, now time for action

The NFF has welcomed the comments from the Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, from the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Mexico regarding the need to improve agriculture and food production.

Speaking at the launch of a joint foreign aid program for agriculture in Los Cabos, the Prime Minister said that agriculture needs “better agricultural productivity, more open trade, greater investment, innovation, research and development.”

NFF President Jock Laurie said the comments are as applicable to Australian agriculture as they are to global agriculture and called on the Government to support Australian farmers through policies that enable growth in our domestic agricultural sector. For more, read our release.

No new body: just work with us

After a week when the NFF has achieved a win on foreign investment, represented Australian agriculture at the Rio+20 Forum and called on the Prime Minister to deliver policies to ensure a strong and sustainable agricultural sector, we have questioned why a Senate Inquiry would recommend establishing a new body for agriculture.

The Senate Inquiry into agricultural education reported last week and made a recommendation regarding setting up a new agricultural body to represent farmers and agribusinesses in establishing policy.

The NFF has been very clear that our mandate is to represent farmers and the broader farm sector - and that we already have a powerful reputation, a strong and established relationship with Government and have achieved major outcomes for our sector. We believe the suggestion that yet another body be formed is completely counterproductive to Australian agriculture - instead, we call for greater collaboration between organisations by getting behind the known, trusted and respected NFF. For more, read our release.

Coming up at NFF.

> New time for Tasmanian Blueprint forum
The NFF will host a Blueprint forum in Launceston, Tasmania, on Thursday 12 July as part of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) conference. The forum is taking place from 1pm-3:30pm (please note the new time) at the Launceston Country Club and all are welcome to attend.

The Blueprint forum is free; while a day pass to the TFGA conference on Thursday 12 July is $50, if you mention the NFF Blueprint in your booking. For more information, or to register for the Blueprint forum, call the NFF on 02 6269 5666 or visit the Blueprint webpage. To register for the TFGA conference, visit the conference webpage.

> Blueprint webinars: have your say online!
Can't make it to the Tasmanian Blueprint forum? Missed the forums around the other States and Territories? Want to contribute further to the Blueprint in an interactive forum? Then log on to the Blueprint webinars on Thursday 5 and Monday 9 July from 5:30pm. To register, and for all webinar details, visit the Blueprint webpage.

> World Sustainable Agriculture Congress, Singapore
NFF CEO Matt Linnegar will be speaking at the World Sustainable Agriculture Congress in Singapore on 10-12 July. The Congress is an international event that brings together businesses from across the agricultural value chain to explore ideas, strategies, partnerships and socially responsible initiatives to ensure food security, business sustainability and long term profitability in agriculture. For more, visit the Congress website.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 19.

In this issue

NFF win on foreign investment

Five banks pass on cuts

Step closer to trade agreement

Talk's good, now time for action

No new body: just work with us

Coming up at NFF.

New time for Tasmanian Blueprint forum

Blueprint webinars: have your say online!

World Sustainable Agriculture Congress, Singapore

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