AgForce has welcomed today’s commitment by the agriculture industry to lead the national objective of carbon neutrality by 2050 – and has called for vital collaboration with Australia’s world-leading science community.

CEO Michael Guerin said Australia’s producers were best placed to drive efforts to reduce carbon emission and store atmospheric carbon in the environment – and would be proud to take a leadership role.

“AgForce believes the 2050 national target is important to embrace, both for the country and its $66 billion agriculture industry,” Mr Guerin said.

“What we need to reach that goal is an evidence-based approach to determine where we are at, where we want to be, and how we can most effectively move forward.

“After all, if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.

“That is why we have asked the National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) to urgently prioritise collaboration with the research bodies to develop a science-derived baseline for the nett carbon position for agriculture and land management.

“Australia’s farmers have invested massively in their operations over recent decades, and made significant inroads in reducing theirs and society’s carbon footprint, improving farming methods and land management techniques that store carbon in the soil and vegetation.

“We are seeking this baseline data to ensure the great work farmers are doing to grow food and fibre is reflected in the strategy; we need a robust, science-based approach to know where we currently stand and to develop a logical and effective way forward.

“Following AgForce’s resolution, the NFF will work on ensuring there is clear and effective communication between agriculture and the research and development corporations working collaboratively on baseline data.

“We are asking all research and development corporations to share future, current, and past baselining work to the joint effort and ensure the ag industry, through the NFF, is involved in developing and finalising the scope of the work – the ‘what and by when’.

“Australia simply cannot meet its climate change targets without agriculture, and Australia’s farmers – who are custodians of more than 85 per cent of the continent – are standing by to help.

“Where environmental legislation has failed in the past is when producers – with all their vast on-the-ground experience of farming and land management – have been excluded from the process.”

Media contact: David Vogler 0418 733 102