Friday 7 February, 2014
Welcome to the first edition of the NFF AGvocate 2014: it's been a tough start to the year for the farm sector, with much of QLD, NSW, SA and NT still heavily within the grips of drought. The NFF has been working to drive outcomes for Australian farmers, and ensure agriculture is reprioritised on the national agenda during this critical time.
The NFF will continue to advocate on behalf of farmers on the major issues affecting agriculture. The top priorities for the year include: forming better drought management policy; developing measures that drive improved on-farm profitability; encouraging rural and regional investment; reducing the regulatory burden on farms; and progressing trade agreements.
This year also marks the NFF's 35th Anniversary, which was formed in 1979, and the UN-declared International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). To honour both occasions, the NFF will again host its biennial conference, the NFF National Congress, in Canberra in October 2014, with a focus on community, values, attitudes and expectations regarding Australian agriculture.
Picture: NFF President Brent Finlay & family on their Queensland property Source: News Corp Australia
The NFF is calling for appropriate action to address the situation of severe drought that many farmers, their families and communities are facing. While potential improvements to farm household income support have been raised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a broad range of measures targeted towards farmers, their families and their communities to cope with the current drought is needed.
The NFF is working with members to identify which measures will be most appropriate to deal with the current drought, and are in regular contact with the Federal Government around what is practical for delivery. It's likely the NFF will be making an announcement within the next week. For more, read our media release
The Federal Government this week released the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper issues paper, marking an important step towards a more profitable and competitive agricultural sector.
The White Paper - a strategic mapping tool for the future of Ag - will identify pathways and approaches for increasing farm profitability, and boosting agriculture's contribution to economic growth, trade, innovation and productivity.
Complementing the White Paper, is the NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian agriculture. It will contribute to developing strategies clearly focused on real improvements for the agricultural sector. For more, read our media release.
People are our industry's greatest resource, and ensuring we have a capable and sustainable workforce is vital for the future of Australian agriculture. The NFF is encouraging farmers who currently employ, or have previous employed farm workers, to head online and complete the five minute Farm Sector Employment Survey.
The survey is a useful tool for farmers to quickly document their experiences and key concerns relating to the on-farm employment process. The survey aims to help address the lack of robust data that currently exists around workforce development, and in turn, inform the direction of agricultural workforce policy discussions. The survey can be accessed online here.
The NFF congratulates former NFF President Mr David Crombie for his appointment as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Mr Crombie has played an important part in the growth and reputation of the NFF, in addition to his many other contributions to the industry, particularly the meat and livestock sector. The honour is testament to his passion for agriculture, and his ongoing work to drive outcomes for Australian farmers.
NFF CEO Matt Linnegar is once again putting his cooking skills to the test in this year's Qantas and OzHarvest CEO CookOff - helping to provide much-needed food to Sydney's homeless and to raise funds for fantastic organisations like OzHarvest, Tribal Warriors and Life Changing Experiences Foundation.
The event will bring together 40 celebrity chefs and over 200 CEOs, who will cook for 1000 in need at the well-known Carriageworks establishment on 17 February 2014 in Sydney.
You can support Matt in his fundraising efforts by donating today.
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