Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 18 December, 2012

Support our Farmers: Buy Australian this Christmas

With only one week remaining, we're urging all Australians to show their support for Aussie farmers by buying local produce this Christmas.

Australian farmers are world-renowned for growing healthy, fresh, available and affordable food – from meat and grain products to dairy, fruit and vegetables and locally made wine and beer - and buying home grown products goes a long way to supporting our nation's food and fibre producers. This Christmas, give a gift back to our farming sector by buying Australian grown!

Chief Scientist backs R&D call

A discussion paper released by the Office of the Chief Scientist has supported our calls for a continued, strong commitment from Government to agricultural research and development (R&D).

The ‘Australia’s Role in Global Food Security’ paper has found that continued investment in R&D is essential in increasing Australia’s agricultural production to help secure food availability, both in the Asian region and further abroad.

The paper recognises the importance of R&D to Australian agriculture and identifies that our most valuable asset when it comes to supporting global food security is our knowledge and expertise. According to the paper, when the outcomes of agricultural R&D are considered, Australia contributes to the diets of up to 400 million people worldwide. For more, read our media release or view the Chief Scientist's discussion paper.

Farmer numbers fall, but productivity grows

Two reports released this fortnight by the ABS and ABARES have found that while farmer numbers in Australia have fallen, agricultural productivity and the value of Australian farm exports continue to grow.

A Social Trends report by the ABS, released last week, has found that the number of Australian farmers has fallen by over 100,000 in the three decades since 1981, yet the value of Australian agricultural exports in this time has grown from $8.2 to $32.5 billion.

Meanwhile, ABARES' Agricultural Commodity Statistics, released yesterday, has found that the value of farm exports has increased by 14.5 percent in 2011-12 to $36.4 billion, and the volume of farm production has also increased - by around 4 percent - due to an increase in grains and oilseeds.

The statistics show that the sector has changed dramatically, and while the number of farmers has fallen, agricultural productivity has grown at an average rate of 3 percent over the past 25 years. Australian farmers have become more technologically-savvy, more innovative, more efficient and ultimately more productive at what we do. For more, read our media release or view the ABS and ABARES reports.

'Tis the season for statistics

Here's a few of the most interesting facts and figures from the ABS and ABARES reports released this fortnight:

  • 72 percent of Aussie farmers are male, 89 percent of farmers were born in Australia, and the average farmer is 53 years old.
  • Half of all farmers work more than 49 hours per week and more than half (56 percent) are self-employed owner managers.
  • In 2011-12, the average Australian consumed 104 litres of milk, 32 kilograms of beef, 25 kilograms of pork and ham and 9 kilograms of lamb!

Merry Christmas from the NFF!

The President, Board, CEO and staff of the NFF wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Thank you for your support in 2012, the Australian Year of the Farmer - we look forward to working with you again in 2013.

Please note that the NFF office will be closed from 5pm, Friday 21 December, reopening 8:30am, Wednesday 2 January.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 30

In this issue

Support our Farmers: Buy Australian this Christmas

Chief Scientist backs R&D call

Farmer numbers fall, but productivity grows

'Tis the season for statistics

Merry Christmas from the NFF!

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