Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Registrations for the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) 2014 National Congress, to be held in Canberra on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 October, are open – with the big future for Australian agriculture the topic of hot debate.
Dynamic and interactive, this year's program includes thought-provoking presentations, panel discussions and audience Q&As.
Attendees will hear from a range of speakers, such as Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce MP, Telstra Country Wide Executive Director Andrew Coull, Coles General Manager of Fresh Produce Brad Gorman, McDonalds Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregory and plenty more.
A unique cocktail style event celebrating the UN-declared International Year of Family Farming and 35 Years of the NFF will take place on the Monday evening. Set at the picturesque National Portrait Gallery – this is a night not to be missed!
For your chance to be part of this year's leading agricultural event, the NFF Congress, visit the website today!
We're excited to announce Simon Talbot as the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Farmers' Federation.
Prior to joining the NFF, Simon was a Director at Mondelez International (previously known as Kraft Foods & Cadbury) for seven years, heading corporate affairs for Australia and New Zealand and leading agricultural investment in the Asia Pacific.
Simon and his family run a Murray Grey stud in northern Tasmania, among other interests in the agricultural and food export sectors.
He will officially commence the role on Monday 20 October 2014, coinciding with the 2014 NFF National Congress taking place on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 October in Canberra.
For more, read our release here.
The NFF is disappointed that the Senate looks likely to block the one-stop reform for environmental approvals. The NFF is a strong supporter of the reform, saying it would streamline environmental laws and clarify farmers' legal responsibilities.
The Government had proposed to simplify the complex national law (the EPBC Act) by establishing a one-stop shop in each state and territory across Australia. However, this now looks unlikely to pass the Senate.
Rather than using the opportunity to convert the party's positive sentiments about farmers into meaningful action, the Palmer United Party, together with their Senate colleagues, have chosen to put politics ahead of the interests of Australian farmers.
The NFF will continue to advocate for better outcomes, highlighting that the reform would provide greater certainty to farmers: as the advice they receive from state regulators would also include advice under the national EPBC Act.
For more, read our release here.
The NFF has joined forces with several peak bodies to review the regulatory burden holding our $311 billion food and fibre industry back.
The 'Paddock to Plate' report released last week, urged the government to address unnecessary and duplicate regulation, inflexible labour laws and irrelevant transport laws.
Off the back of a retailer and supplier roundtable in August, the NFF, Australian Logistics Council, Australian National Retail Association and the Australian Food and Grocery Council signed off on the report - a first ever for the complete supply chain bodies.
Some of the report's key findings confirm what farmers have long said: that in order to improve the competitiveness of our sector we must work collaboratively with all those across the supply chain.
The report also recommends a number of reforms to bolster the farm sector including greater labour flexibility, streamlining of environmental legislation and addressing transport and logistic inefficiencies. A copy of the report is available here.
Australian farmers have good reason to be excited about the opportunities in China.
NFF President Brent Finlay recently joined Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and 38 government and industry representatives on a week-long trip to China to strengthen agricultural ties.
In the province of Heilongjiang, the delegation visited a sheep meat processing facility, seeing first-hand the value-adding process Australian food goes through once it arrives in China.
Meanwhile in Beijing, the delegation met with government officials and e-commerce companies excited to be the gateway for Australian produce to the Chinese consumer.
A key learning of the trip was the growing demand for 'retail-ready' products: produce grown, processed and packaged here and shipped straight to the Chinese. Examples are Inverell's Bindaree Beef and dairy processor, Norco.
Food safety was a key message, ranking as China's priorities one, two and three. Our biosecurity systems will continue to underpin the strength of our market access.
Now more than ever, the industry is looking at ways to strengthen current trade relationships for the benefit of both nations. After all, the NFF believes this is the very essence of a strong bilateral agreement.
For more, see our opinion editorial in the Weekly Times here.
Just recently NFF President Brent Finlay joined Treasurer Joe Hockey and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce on a trip to drought-affected areas in Queensland and New South Wales.
Federal and State MPs arrived in the NSW town of Walgett and then headed to QLD’s Charleville, giving MPs the opportunity see the impact of the drought first-hand. Farmers spoke to the MP’s about the prolonged drought and how it’s affecting their families, businesses and communities.
Farmers in these regions have been managing drought conditions for over three years in some cases, making it important for those doing it tough to have access to drought assistance measures, including the Drought Concessional Loan Scheme and Farm Household Allowance.
The NFF and our members have been working hard to ensure that farmers in genuine need have access to a range of relevant drought assistance measures. We urge drought-affected farmers not to self-assess eligibility for available measures and make use of important resources, such as the Rural Financial Counselling Service.
Beyond ensuring assistance is available to meet the needs of farmers in the current drought, we are committed to working with government and industry, developing long-term policy settings and driving preparedness for future droughts.
> SAFE WORK MONTH
Tune in on October 17 to hear Brent's message on the importance of farm safety. In the meantime, give your a farm a health check! Not sure how? Check out the Farmsafe Australia website for some key tips on keeping workers, visitors, friends and family safe.
The NFF AGvocate
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