Research and development to be considered in National Food Plan
Research and development will be one of the key issues addressed in consultations on the Federal Government’s National Food Plan green paper which presents a series of policy options for Australia’s food future.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, launched the green paper ahead of a forum with key representatives from the food and agriculture industries in Sydney.
The forum is the first in a series that will seek community and industry views on ideas presented in the green paper, with feedback to be used to finalise Australia’s first National Food Plan.
“The options presented in the green paper are based on previous stakeholder feedback. These forums will see Australians look into those options and help turn them into the policies we need,” Minister Ludwig said.
The green paper seeks views on possible future food policy options, including:
- Food Security –whether the government should regularly publish a State of the Food System report that analyses our food security and reports on how our supply chains are performing;
- Market Access – how we can assist Australian producers to enter overseas markets and create closer trade ties by expanding our network of overseas agricultural representatives;
- Supply Chain Relationships – how do we foster stronger relationships for more effective and efficient supply chains for the benefit of suppliers, supermarkets and consumers;
- Research and Development – whether the best way to boost Australia’s agricultural productivity is by increasing rural R&D investment over the next 10 years;
- Infrastructure – how to make sure we have the best information about what infrastructure our growing food industry needs to aid decision-making by the private and public sectors;
- Land Use – ways we can ensure Australia’s land is used sustainably, competing land use interests are balanced, and foreign investment reflects the national interest;
- Skills – what action is needed to form an industry-led working group that can create a workforce development strategy for the sector;
- Ongoing food policy development – how we create a key stakeholder/government food forum to drive food policy across government; and
- Disaster Mitigation – how we can develop new strategies to reduce risks and maintain continuity of the food supply in the case of a significant national emergency.
The series of forums on the National Food Plan green paper will be held across Australia from today with public consultation ending on September 30. Those unable to attend a public meeting can contribute a written submission, participate in the National Food Plan blog discussion at daff.gov.au/nationalfoodplan or follow on twitter.
“The forums to take place over the next 10 weeks will help make sure Australia’s food policies capitalise on the opportunities before us and can rise to challenges in coming decades,” Minister Ludwig said.
“Australia is food secure and we want to make sure we take the right steps now so that remains the case into the future. This Government also wants to continue to partner with the food industry, across the supply chain, to help increase productivity and seize growth opportunities.
“With global food demand expected to rise by 77 per cent by 2050 and much of this growth predicted to occur in Asia with the rise of a new growing middle class, Australia’s food industry, food and agriculture workers and economy are primed to benefit from new market opportunities.”
The development of the National Food Plan will build on reforms the government has already begun in biosecurity, nutrition, the use of chemicals in agriculture, drought preparedness and water. Most importantly it prepares Australia for future challenges including climate change and finite natural resources.
For more information and how to participate in the consultation process, visit the National Food Plan website.