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NFF Congress program to lead Australian agriculture discussion

8 September 2016

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has released an impressive program for its upcoming Congress including keynote addresses from Andrew Forrest, Anthony Pratt and panel discussions with key political figures.

Hosted by the NFF in Canberra biennially, the Congress will this year be held on 26 and 27 October. It has become one of the nation’s foremost forums for the discussion of agricultural issues and attended by a range of stakeholders from across the food and fibre supply chain. Early bird registrations will close on 16 September.

Mr Forrest, one of Australia’s most well-known business leaders and Co-Chairman of the Australian Sino One Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership (ASA100), said agriculture was fundamental to a prosperous nation and was delighted to be part of the Congress program.

“One of the reasons I helped establish ASA100 was my strong belief that we can, and should, do all we can to turn around Australia’s ageing agricultural sector,” Mr Forrest said.

“The children of Australian farmers should see this industry with clear eyes of a bright future.

“International demand for premium Australian produce and agrifood products will continue to grow, in particular in China. All Australians will reap the economic benefits delivered by a coordinated export branding campaign, cementing our reputation as the world’s most reliable supplier of safe, premium agricultural food products.

“Our agricultural and food industries must work together to ensure we are innovative in our approach, and we must be united in all facets of our drive. The concept of one voice and a coordinated action plan to tackle global markets is a critical one.”

Other sessions and speakers on the NFF program include:

• The Hon Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
• Anthony Pratt, Executive Chairman, Visy
• John Durkan, Managing Director, Coles
• Bill Morrow, CEO, NBN Co
• Brent Finlay, NFF President
• Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens
• The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture
• Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator for Victoria
• The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Shadow Assistant Treasurer
• Fiona Simson, NFF Vice President
• Panel Discussion – How do we grow Australia’s food business and our food export performance?
• Panel Discussion – Australia’s place in the World
• Panel Discussion – Innovation to Manage our Climate Challenges
• Panel Discussion – The Future of Farm Automation
• Panel Discussion – The Future Direction of Australian Agriculture featuring Senator Nick Xenophon and The Hon Bob Katter MP

Live polling will feature across the two days while the Official Congress Cocktail Event will be held at the National Arboretum and feature locally sourced produce.

NFF Chief Executive Officer, Tony Mahar, said Congress’ theme of ‘Embracing Innovation’ would turn attention not only to technology and Research and Development (R&D) but also how Australia captures the value of growing demand for agricultural products.

“Agriculture is already leading the charge for the Australian economy, particularly in the wake of the resources downturn, and has the opportunity right now to further improve productivity and be one of the nation’s greatest contributors to prosperity,” Mr Mahar said.

“I warmly invite anyone with an interest in the future of the production of food and fibre and the important place it takes in the national economy to register for Congress and be part of what will be an important conversation for the agriculture industry.”

• For full program details and to register click here

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