Fighting for our farmers' future

Friday, 15 August 2014

NFF CONGRESS 2014: PRODUCING OUR FUTURE

Early Bird registrations are now open for the NFF Congress 2014, being held in Canberra on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 October, bringing together Australian agriculture: farmers, industry and government from grassroots to global.

The NFF Congress will look at the major issues affecting the Australian agricultural sector, on both a policy-development level and a practical on-farm level.

This year's Congress will focus on core business, left-field ideas and blue-sky opportunities for agriculture at the grassroots, Australian and global level. Attendees will hear from an exciting range of domestic and international speakers, including key parliamentarians, thought leaders and commercial decision-makers. Speakers will cover a range of high-profile issues, including agriculture's role within society, competition for natural resources, global trends impacting on farm businesses, practical strategies to drive profitability and much more!

The Congress is open to all within agriculture, and farmers are strongly encouraged to attend. Early bird registrations have now opened: to register, or for further information, visit the Congress website today.

RUSSIA BAN PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON OUR EXPORTS FUTURE

The NFF is disappointed by Russia's decision to impose a ban on food imports from Australia, a market that contributes roughly $400 million to Australia's economy each year.

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said the year-long ban, introduced last week, would affect imports on beef, pork, fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish and dairy products from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway.

While Russia is a developing market for Australia, the NFF has some initial concerns about disruptions to Australia's export market, due to the fact Australia exports over 60 percent of its produce, and is prominently export-orientated.

Going forward, we will seek greater clarity around what this ban means for Australian farmers. Secondly, we will seek a strong commitment from the Australian Government to work closely with the farm sector to ensure produce that would otherwise have been sent to Russia, be exported to alternative markets.

The news comes as another reminder for the Federal Government to deliver strong trade agreements with overseas markets, most notably, with China and other regional markets. The NFF and its members will continue to call for a first-class agreement with China, explaining China's continued growth offers Australia great opportunities to remain competitive on an international stage. For more, read our release here.

FOOD AND FIBRE TAKES CENTRE STAGE AT ASA 100 MEETING

Spearheaded by Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, the inaugural ASA 100 meeting was held in Sydney late July, bringing together key leaders across the frontier of the agricultural, food processing and distribution sectors. NFF President Brent Finlay attended the meeting, joining in to discuss the two nations' future together as partners in growth and prosperity.

China's increasing demand of high-end products provides Australia with a real opportunity to form a long-lasting relationship with China, built on the foundation of the safe, high-quality food and fibre produced by Australian farmers.

With a strong focus on how Australian agriculture can unite and step up to the challenge of becoming one of China's closest and most proficient food and fibre partners, the ASA 100 marked an important step going forward, solidifying the two nations' agricultural relationships for the generations to come. For more, read our release here.

NEW REPORT CONFIRMS AG'S POTENTIAL

A recent report by McKinsey & Co, titled Compete to Prosper: Improving Australia's Global Competitiveness has named Australia's agricultural sector as the most competitive of all industry sectors across the country. The report reveals that at a time when most other sectors are struggling to compete with innovative frontrunners like the United States, Australian agriculture has maintained its tight grip as a strong international competitor.

The report outlines that while Australian agriculture has plenty of untapped potential, there is the need for constant improvement, so as not to become complacent and ease its pressure on the competition by stagnating productivity and innovation.

Innovation and RD&E continue to be a key focus of NFF's policy-development and advocacy efforts. The NFF has been working with the Federal Government to ensure the recently announced $100 million for agricultural R&D is focused on improving the competitiveness of Australian farmers.

For more information, see the full report here.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 55

In this issue

NFF CONGRESS 2014: PRODUCING OUR FUTURE

RUSSIA BAN PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON OUR EXPORTS FUTURE

FOOD AND FIBRE TAKES CENTRE STAGE AT ASA 100 MEETING

NEW REPORT CONFIRMS AG'S POTENTIAL

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