Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 7 February, 2012

Blueprint: your input needed

The NFF is now calling for input into the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture. You've heard us talking about Blueprint - now is your chance to get involved.

From today, the NFF is asking all with an interest in, or involvement with, the agricultural industry and the wider supply chain to contribute to the development of the Blueprint.

Participating in the Blueprint is easy. Simply visit our Blueprint website and fill in the online survey, talk to one of the 24 NFF Member organisations, or run your own Blueprint session within your community and tell us what you want to see from the future of farming.

Or come along to a Blueprint forum, hosted by the NFF and Westpac, in each State and Territory across Australia. Forums are taking place in Toowoomba, Perth, Darwin, Wagga Wagga, Shepparton, Adelaide and Tasmania between March and May.

Ultimately, Blueprint is about coming together as an industry to identify the issues, challenges and opportunities ahead for the farming sector. We want to hear from you.

For more information or to register for a forum, complete the online survey or download the toolkit to help you run your own Blueprint session, please visit the website, call the NFF on 02 6269 5666, or view our media release.

Funds for flood recovery

The NFF has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that disaster relief payments will be available to flood affected families across nine shires in NSW and QLD.

The floods have caused widespread damage to communities and farming land. Farmers in parts of northern NSW are suffering the effects of a second flood in as many months, while QLD farmers are experiencing their third major flood in two years.

At this stage, it is still very hard to assess the full extent of the damage, however we do know that the damage bill from the floods will extend into the millions.

Thousands of hectares of cropping and grazing land have been inundated, infrastructure like fences and roads have been badly damaged, if not completely washed away, and summer crops in many areas have been destroyed. At this stage, a clear picture on stock losses is not available, although we do expect that some will not have survived.

Farmers and communities are encouraged to access the relief payments of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child by contacting the Department of Human Services on 180 22 66 or visiting their website. For more, read our media release.

Photo courtesy of Shanna Rowlands, SKW Images & Freelance

Focus on education and skills

Last week the NFF appeared before the Senate Inquiry into higher education and skills training to support future demand in agriculture and agribusiness in Australia - and hosted an Industry Roundtable on the issues of education, skills and labour shortages.

Some 80 representatives from across industry, government and the education sector attended the forum in Canberra, which aimed to provide the first step in finding practical solutions to the issues facing the industry. The outcomes of the meeting will be incorporated into the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, and circulated to Roundtable participants shortly. These outcomes will also be available to the public - to request a copy, please contact the NFF on 02 6269 5666.

Guarantee our farm gate prices

The NFF has called on the major supermarkets to guarantee that any cuts to fresh fruit and vegetable prices will not impact on the farm gate prices for Australia's food growers.

Last week, Coles announced a cut price marketing approach - ironically on the same day that the UN released its latest report, estimating that within the next 20 years, the world's population will need 50 percent more food. The simple fact is this: unless food production increases, demand for food will outstrip supply, which means the cost of food will increase for consumers at home and abroad.

The NFF has asked Coles for an iron clad guarantee that farm prices will not be slashed due to this pricing strategy. At the same time, the NFF has called for greater investment in methods to help farmers increase food production, like research and development, combined with sensible decision making around policy areas that threaten agriculture. For more, read our media release.

Last chance to have your say on Australia's employment laws

This Friday 10 February marks your last chance to have your say on the impact of the Modern Award and the Fair Work Act on your farm business. The NFF surveys into the Award and the Act close this week, and we will be incorporating your feedback into our submissions to Government on the employment laws.

To provide your input, fill in our quick surveys here.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 9.

In this issue

Blueprint: your input needed

Funds for flood recovery

Focus on education and skills

Guarantee our farm gate prices

Last chance to have your say on Australia's employment laws

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