Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Vote #1: Agriculture

At the start of a fascinating week in federal politics, and six months out from the election, we launched the NFF’s 2013 Federal Election Policy Priorities for agriculture.

NFF President Jock Laurie and CEO Matt Linnegar conducted 30 meetings in three days with federal MPs and Senators, taking the message ‘Vote 1: Agriculture’ to Parliament House.

The five key NFF election priorities are:

  • Growing Australian Agriculture: reprioritising agriculture in the national agenda.
  • Investing in RD&E: driving innovation and productivity through increased investment in agriculture RD&E.
  • Increasing competitiveness and profitability: ensuring we are a globally competitive and our farmers remain profitable.
  • Building a stronger workforce: encouraging greater uptake of agricultural careers and delivering improved labour solutions.
  • Balancing agriculture and the environment: ensuring our natural resources can continue to be managed while also increasing agricultural production.

We will be evaluating the policies of the parties on these issues through a scorecard in the lead up to the election so that farmers can make an informed decision about their preferred Government.

The NFF’s 2013 Federal Election Policy Priorities can be found here.

Call for a mandatory code

The NFF last week issued a call for the introduction of a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets, aimed at preventing a misuse of market power in an extremely concentrated supermarket retail sector.

Our position has always been to support a mandatory code and longer-term changes to competition and consumer law, but to first see if the same outcomes can be achieved on a voluntary basis, and we have been working towards this with both retailers and the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

After some months of discussion, we lack confidence that the voluntary code can deliver the strong outcomes that farmers expect – which is why we are calling on the Federal Government to work with us to deliver a sensible mandatory code and longer-term changes to competition and consumer law. For more, read our media release.

Get the facts straight on R&D

Farmers have come out in strong support of investment into agricultural R&D after a public affairs think tank said that such investment was a 'waste of money.'

The Institute of Public Affairs has called for all federal agricultural R&D to be abolished, saying that it hasn’t seen any credible figures that prove the research has led to productivity gains.

We think the IPA's position is laughable, and suggest they do their research a little better, given there's a whole host of sources, including ABARES and the Office of the Chief Scientist, that have analysed the returns of investment from agricultural R&D and demonstrated the link between agricultural R&D and productivity. For more, read our media release.

Telling agriculture's story

> How do we grow rice?
Did you know that Australian rice growers use 50 percent less water than the global average to grow rice? NFF members, the Ricegrowers Association of Australia, have a fantastic hands-on demonstration at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show where you can learn about how rice is grown. Find them in the Food Farm!

> Meat free? Not me!
During last week's Meat Free Week, NFF members NSW Farmers were on the front foot, providing balanced commentary in the media and online. NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson issued this statement, while chair of the NSW Farmers' young farmers Tegan Nock created this video. NFF's Jock Laurie and Matt Linnegar got in on the #meatfreeweek #notme action at a BBQ hosted at Parliament House by Woolworths.

> Cotton Grower of the Year field day
Hundreds of growers, agronomists and others within the cotton industry visited the farm of the 2012 Cotton Grower of the Year, Nigel Corish and his family at Goondiwindi, QLD, this month, to learn about his award-winning farming practices. NFF president Jock Laurie joined NFF members, Cotton Australia, on farm. Pictured here is Cotton Australia president Lyndon Mulligan and CEO Adam Kay with Jock.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 33

In this issue

Vote #1: Agriculture

Call for a mandatory code

Get the facts straight on R&D

Telling agriculture's story

How do we grow rice?

Meat free? Not me!

Cotton Grower of the Year field day

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