17 September 2020. By AgForce Connectivity and Social Policy chair Peter Thomson.

Farming has always been at the forefront of Australia’s development, feeding and clothing our growing population while providing an underlying economic lynchpin vital to our prosperity.

Agricultural businesses not only provide for our population but are a significant exporter and contributor to our economy.

In 2017–18, the value of Queensland rural exports alone exceeded $9.5 billion – a whopping 12.8% of the state’s total goods exports.

COVID has understandably dealt a massive blow to our ability to reach our traditional markets, with many borders around the world still closed and the pandemic far from over.

Recovery is likely to take time, which is why it’s critical governments defend the existing rights of access to livestock, meat, fibre, sugar, and grains markets, and where possible, secure new market opportunities and improvements to existing export conditions.

Closer economic partnerships, including Free Trade Agreements, promoting stronger trade and commercial ties between participating countries, and providing opportunities for Australian exporters and investors to expand their business into key markets are also essential.

Governments can, and should, continue to champion Australia’s robust food safety standards and high-quality beef, sheep and goat meats, as well as grains and cane products, over and above all other world supplies.

This is more important than ever if, as has been publicly stated, agriculture is to play a significant role in helping lead Queensland, and the rest of Australia, out of its COVID-induced economic gloom and onto the path towards full recovery.

Of course, integral to this are the strong biosecurity systems that protect our planet and ensure agricultural production and ongoing trade.

Boosting readiness for potential future biosecurity incursions, including research, risk management, and agile response rates maintain our state’s reputation for supply and trade of safe, clean food and fibre.

Agriculture is embedded in our daily life, it is a major contributor to our economy, and it will help sustain our population and those of our export partners in the years to come.

It helps connect all Queenslanders – urban and rural – and is why with the State election approaching, you need to join us.

Jump onto our Facebook page to see how you can make sure the Government hears you.