Fighting for our farmers' future

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Blueprint for Aust Ag launched

The NFF recently launched the much-anticipated Blueprint for Australian Agriculture at a lunch attended by 150 farmers and industry leaders, supply chain representatives, NFF members, Blueprint advisory group participants, Ministers, Senators and Government representatives in Canberra.

The Blueprint identifies seven themes: seven critical areas in which action must happen now in order to secure a strong and sustainable future for the sector. The seven themes are:

  • Innovation and Research, Development and Extension
  • Competitiveness
  • Trade and Market Access
  • People
  • Agriculture within Society
  • Natural Resources
  • Transformational Issues.

The full Blueprint report, and a summary document, are available from the Blueprint webpage.

The launch of the Blueprint marks the end of the first phase of Blueprint, but not the end of the road for the Blueprint itself.

Phase two, or the legacy phase, will see the key actions identified in the Blueprint enacted by the agricultural sector and its supply chain. This process will begin with the first in a series of forums for the agricultural sector and the wider supply chain. The first forum, taking place on Friday 24 May, will be held in Canberra. For more information, or to register your interest, please contact the NFF on 02 6269 5666.

Future Farmers join with NFF

Last week, the NFF announced a partnership with Australia's only national agricultural youth network, the Future Farmers Network (FFN).

The partnership, announced by NFF President Jock Laurie and FFN Chair Georgie Aley at the FFN Youth Agriculture Central in Canberra, will provide opportunities for young farmers to learn about policy development and advocacy on the national stage.

Critically, many of the decisions made today not only impact on the current crop of farmers, but also our future farmers – the next generation who will not only be running our nation’s farms, but also our agricultural representative bodies, in the years to come. Ensuring we have a strong, successful industry in the future is really in the hands of our future farmers, so it is essential that we involve them today.

For more on the announcement, read our media release.

457 Visa changes could hurt ag

A decision by the Federal Government to tighten the rules around 457 visas could make it even harder for Australian farmers to find employees.

As it is, Australian farmers are already struggling to find employees and while many opportunities exist for Australian workers to fill job vacancies on Australian farms, the uptake of these opportunities is often low.

As a result, farmers are forced to look to overseas workers to help fill the labour void.

457 visas provide a potential solution, which is why we've been calling for the extension of these visas to the agriculture sector. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is a tightening of the 457 visa program, adding further restrictions on the availability of labour for agriculture and potentially impacting on our sector’s ability to produce food and fibre. For more, read our release.

Has your bank passed on cuts?

As the Reserve Bank of Australia today decided to leave interest rates on hold at threepercent, the NFF released the latest Agribusiness Loan Monitor - the first for 2013.

This edition of the Monitor provides a new tool for farmers - a tracking of movements in rates over the course of the financial year. To date in 2012-13, the RBA has cut rates twice, bringing the rate down 0.50 percent to three percent.

The banks have followed suit in this time, reducing their rates by between 0.15 percent and 0.40 percent for term loans, with the best performing banks being Commonwealth Bank Agribusiness and NAB Agribusiness, both of whom have reduced rates by 0.40 percent since July 2012.

Meanwhile, in overdrafts, four banks – ANZ Agribusiness, Commonwealth Bank Agribusiness, NAB Agribusiness and Suncorp Agribusiness – have all reduced their rates by 0.40 percent since the beginning of the financial year.

To see how your bank is performing, check out the
February Agribusiness Loan Monitor.

Farmers remain 'most trusted'

A new public poll has found that Australian agriculture is the most trusted sector in Australia.

The poll, by Essential Media Communications, has found that agriculture is considered the most trustworthy of 12 sectors in Australia, including tourism, manufacturing, retail, construction and development and media, among others.

The poll backs up the findings of the annual Reader's Digest Most Trusted Professions list, which has ranked farmers in the top 10 most trusted professions for the past six years.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 32

In this issue

Blueprint for Aust Ag launched

Future Farmers join with NFF

457 Visa changes could hurt ag

Has your bank passed on cuts?

Farmers remain 'most trusted'

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