The 2010-13 Strategic Plan reaffirms the National Farmers' Federation's core functions of lobbying and advocacy on behalf of Australian farmers at the peak national political and community level. The Vision and Mission reflect this focus.
The NFF's new Strategic Plan launched in May 2010.
“A strong, progressive and sustainable farming sector in Australia.”
- Progressive – encompassing modern, innovative and adaptive to change.
- Sustainable – including economically, environmentally and socially.
- Farming sector – embracing farming businesses, agribusiness and rural communities.
“To influence the Australian Government, Parliament and the broader community through national and international representation and advocacy, to achieve a strong, progressive and sustainable farming sector in Australia.”
“To provide collective strength and leadership.”
The NFF Strategic Plan 2006-09 set an agenda-leading advocacy, lobbying and policy development program that focused Australia’s peak farm body on four overarching priorities:
- Competitiveness and cost issues (including infrastructure, trade, industrial relations and farm inputs).
- Market issues (including market access).
- Sustainability (including economic and environmental issues such as national water reform, Environmental Stewardship and drought reform).
- Community perception (campaign covering proactive media, political, third party and member engagement, new strategic messaging around ‘modern farming’ based on in-depth market research analysis).
Throughout 2007-08 the NFF undertook a sweeping 18-month examination of farm representation in Australia and its value proposition to farmers, culminating with the unanimous endorsement by members of a new NFF membership model in December 2008.
The new structure came into effect on 1 July 2009.
This NFF Strategic Plan 2010-13 sets about meeting the needs of Australia’s growing and vibrant farm sector, which employs over 300,000 Australians directly on farms (some 1.6 million jobs across the supply chain), underpins 12% of Gross Domestic Product, generates $32 billion per year in exports and 93% of Australia’s daily food supply.
Ensuring our farmers can get on with the job of meeting mounting demand is essential as they are increasingly called upon for food and fibre production – both in Australia and globally.
The strategic drivers and headline issues forming the basis for the Strategic Plan 2010-13 include:
- Global demand for food and fibre increasing, with the United Nations stating that global food production will have to increase 70% by 2050 to meet population projections.
- Changing industry structure and demographics, including increased foreign investment, heightened farm consolidation and the rise of peri-urban agriculture.
- Emerging new markets for food and fibre, as well as in the areas of carbon and water trading.
- Ever-changing consumer demand and expectations, expanding to niche products and through-chain traceability and quality assurance schemes.
- Innovation in the face of productivity growth decline.
- Need to access new technologies.
- Red tape and regulatory issues on the rise.
- Natural resource management pressures, including investigation of opening northern Australia to agricultural development.
- Mining, environmental and farming interaction becoming more prevalent.
- Climate variability and change.
- New biosecurity threats emerging in relation to weeds and pests.
- Succession planning remaining an unresolved and deeply divisive issue for many farming families and, more broadly, agricultural management.
- Drought and drought policy reform.
Strategic Plan 2010-13
The goals outlined below are designed to tackle and address the opportunities and obstacles to farmers being able to fill the order.
1. Increase the productivity and competitiveness of the farm sector
1.1 Drive a competitive economic framework for farmers (through issues such as taxation, investment and competition policies).
1.2 Minimise costly red tape and regulation.
1.3 Integrate infrastructure to efficiently link regional Australia to domestic and international markets – not only transport, but via high-quality and equitable telecommunications services.
1.4 Investment in productivity growth through agricultural research and development.
1.5 Access to burgeoning technologies, including genetic modification, in its application to farm production.
2. Secure and grow domestic and international markets
2.1 Reduce and, where possible, remove trade and market access barriers for agricultural products.
2.2 Eliminate unfair and trade distorting practices in Australia’s domestic and export markets, such as subsidised farm products.
3. Effective and sustainable natural resource management
3.1 Enshrine natural resource certainty for farmers (land and water).
3.2 More efficient delivery of government environmental programs, including broadening Environmental Stewardship to enable farmers to perform tangible environmental services on behalf of the community.
3.3 Proactively manage the impacts of greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate issues.
3.4 Ensure a robust, effective and science-based biosecurity and quarantine system is in place.
3.5 Development of continually improving standards of animal care and health, which are recognised by the farm sector and broader community.
3.6 Clarity on appropriate land use interaction, including in relation to mining and indigenous access.
4. A focus on people
4.1 A competitive and flexible labour market.
4.2 Improved access to labour (unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled).
4.3 Develop high-level skills and capacity in the farming population.
4.4 Enhanced farm safety information and resources, and improved awareness of Occupational Health and Safety practices.
4.5 Improved succession planning in the exchange of farm businesses from one generation to the next.
4.6 Drive better access to services for people – farmers, businesses, communities – in regional Australia.
5. Improve community perception and awareness of Australian agriculture
5.1 Proactively raise the positive profile of farming issues and the innovative practices involved in modern, dynamic, competitive and sustainable farming.
5.2 Build awareness of farming, its role, contribution and value to the broader community and stakeholder groups.
5.3 Establish confidence, trust and credibility in the information, services, expertise and endeavours of the farming community – bringing the broader community and stakeholder groups along on relevant issues – and focusing community and stakeholder attention accordingly.
5.4 Influence community and stakeholder – including the media and political interests – attitudes, behaviours, decisions and choices.
To view the Strategic Plan, visit our Publications page.
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