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NFF welcomes focus on effective agricultural advocacy

8 November 2013

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the Australian Farm Institute’s (AFI’s) research into effective advocacy in Australian agriculture, the draft findings of which were presented at a workshop in Sydney today.

NFF CEO Matt Linnegar has worked closely with the AFI in the development of the research, and welcomed the increased focus on the role and function on advocacy bodies in Australia.

“Critically, as the national voice for Australian farmers and agriculture, we are always reviewing our effectiveness and efficiency, and striving to make improvements that benefit Australian farmers,” Mr Linnegar said.

“There’s no doubt that we operate in an extremely complex environment, with a declining number of farmers, who are very busy running their own small businesses, across a diverse range of commodities and geographic locations.

“But what all farmers have in common is the need for a strong, united voice in representation: ensuring their voice is heard by Government. If we didn’t have strong advocacy bodies in agriculture, imagine where the sector would be, on everything from carbon tax to the Basin Plan.

“And, as we already know, disunity is death when it comes to advocacy and representation. There is a huge need to ensure greater collaboration between the large number of representative bodies in Australia – and to ensure that our representative bodies are adequately resourced and funded.

“This is one of the reasons the NFF instigated the NFF-led industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture – to bring together all the disparate groups and decision makers in agriculture and the wider supply chain to address policy issues affecting the whole sector, and to do so by pooling our collective resources and working together.

“We also recognise that more can, and must, be done. We welcome an open, transparent look at agricultural advocacy in Australia and a discussion about the best model for our representative structure.

“This is a discussion the NFF is already having with its members, and we look forward to working with the AFI on the development of effective and efficient representative models.

“After all, ensuring a strong and sustainable future for the agricultural sector means also ensuring a strong future for those involved in agricultural advocacy, fighting for our farmers’ future,” Mr Linnegar said.

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