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Blueprint for Australian Agriculture

<i>The launch of the Blueprint for 
Australian Agriculture initiative
 at Parliament House, Canberra, 
October 2011.</i>
The launch of the Blueprint for
Australian Agriculture initiative
at Parliament House, Canberra,
October 2011.

The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture has brought together all with an interest in, or involvement with, agriculture to help shape its future direction. The Blueprint maps out where we as an industry want to go and how we are going to get there.

Almost 4,000 farmers, transporters, retailers, consultants, rural businesses, agribusinesses, educators, governments, rural communities, community groups and consumers have taken part in the development of the Blueprint.

On Thursday 14 February the NFF launched the Blueprint. The Blueprint is available in two parts, the executive summary, and the full Blueprint report:

If you have any questions or want to know more about the Blueprint, contact the NFF by phoning 02 6269 5666.

Consultation

Blueprint initial findings

From February to mid-July 2012, the NFF travelled across the country talking to farmers, wider agricultural industry participants, government and community groups to seek input into the Blueprint.

During this time, the NFF conducted eight Blueprint regional forums right across the country; ran Blueprint sessions at a host of other meetings, events and conferences; staged forums for current and future industry-leaders; hosted a Blueprint forum at Parliament House for MPs and advisors; ran a Blueprint forum via the online agricultural twitter community #agchatoz; organised two Blueprint webinars; and hosted a meeting of the Blueprint advisory group.

From July to September 2012, the NFF and its Blueprint partners analysed all the feedback gained and developed a Blueprint: Initial Findings report. This report was presented at the NFF National Congress in Canberra on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October and is available for you to download here. This report outlines the issues, challenges, opportunities and solutions that the Blueprint participants identified during the information gathering phase.

From 23 October to 20 November 2012, NFF sought comments on the Blueprint initial findings. We thank all who contributed.

Finalising the Blueprint

From 20 November 2012 to February 2013, NFF moved into the final phase of the Blueprint document development - the writing of the final document ahead of its public launch in February 2013.

Implementing the Blueprint

In 2013 decision-makers gathered in Canberra for two Blueprint legacy phase forums. The forums were designed to bring the agricultural sector and supply chain together, to identify the key collective priorities from the Blueprint, and to commit to working together to turn these priority goals into actions.
Below is an extract of the Blueprint communiqué from the first forum.

Of the Blueprint priorities, industry leaders selected four key goals that they wish to see action on today, to ensure the success of the Australian agricultural sector tomorrow:

  • Innovation, research, development, extension: Securing investment in, and developing a model to underpin, research, development and extension inAustralian agriculture.
  • Competitiveness: Building the sector’s competitiveness andprofitability through understanding our market opportunities and value chains to create growth, market access and future opportunities.
  • Agriculture within society: Telling the story of agriculture by building a common narrative about the sector, in order to better position agriculture in the minds of urban Australians, prospective employees and international markets.
  • Natural resources: Embedding sustainability as core business across agriculture and its supply chain.

In order to achieve these four Blueprint goals, participants committed to the following actions:

  • Innovation, research, development, extension: Determine theappropriate funding requirements and models to underpin contributions from both the private and public sector via an industry roundtable.
  • Competitiveness: Collectively develop a costs and needs analysis to understand market opportunities, competitors and value chains.
  • Agriculture within society: Develop and implement a communicationsplan to better tell the story of agriculture.
  • Natural resources: Develop a shared understanding of sustainability via a roundtable, as the first step in embedding this in core business.

The industry leaders acknowledged that the Blueprint is an ambitious plan with many goals for agriculture and the wider sector. They agreed that implementing the Blueprint is a long-term process, and will require the involvement of all within agriculture sector and its supply chain.

The Federal Government released Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper issues paper in early 2014. The issues paper contains nine key areas that are essential to the industry's future - ranging from food security, to improving farm gate returns, to enhancing agricultural exports, to the effectiveness of incentives for investment in job creation. The issues paper reflects many of the priorities outlined in the Blueprint. The recognition of the Blueprint components in the issues paper is a real step forward in making agriculture a priority in this country and implementing strategies contained in the Blueprint.

Further information on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper can be found on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website here.

Supporters of the Blueprint

Our thanks go to major partners, Westpac, Woolworths and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, for their help in delivering the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture during 2011-12.

We also wish to thank those organisations that have assisted in the development of the Blueprint: the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Sefton & Associates, Emergent Futures, Kaliber, the Australian Farm Institute, Fairfax Agricultural Media and the 26 NFF member organisations.

Westpac will be continuing their partnership with the NFF for the legacy phase of the Blueprint, along with new major partners Bayer CropScience and Syngenta Australia.