2 July 2024. Michael Guerin, AgForce CEO. 

It may not be widely recognised - but food security underpins our healthy functioning democracy. 

For generations Australians have enjoyed and taken for granted something many parts of the world envy - a secure food supply chain. Fresh, locally grown and healthy food is available to us all year round, seven days a week.

Ensuring that food security remains, underpinned by strong policy settings at its foundation, is critical as the world grapples with some vexed issues.  

A look at AgForce submissions (see here) over recent months shows just how broad and vast the conversations and policy setting dilemmas are within our industry. 

Nature Repair Bills, Clean Energy Jobs Bills, to name but a few are examples of new and additional regulations coming at a rate of knots that could either underpin the food and fibre production industry that we all rely on, or without due diligence - become a noose around our neck.

If you listen to the younger generation entering the industry, they are doing so with a positive and optimistic disposition - something that should be incredibly heartening for all of us.

What we need though is political leadership that recognises the role our industry can and does play, not only in food and fibre production, but also in environmental and social contributions, and reflects that contribution in policy settings.

What we don’t need is what we are currently seeing - for example with our Great Artesian Basin, Live Sheep Export Industry and overlapping and badly targeted environmental regulations.  

The agricultural industry continues to be the only one in Australia to have tangibly reduced its net emissions profile yet is losing profitability, partly because of a growing list of poorly targeted red and green tape impositions.  

Over the next terms of government, we have the chance to ensure we back our industry strongly, and ensure government works in a genuine co-design process with industry to give confidence in our food security for generations to come.  

AgForce is set to run a critical industry conference just ahead of the state election this year to try and focus these critical conversations for our leaders and aspiring politicians. Find out more here

Industry offers Australia a stable, secure and positive future – lets not ruin the opportunity, and instead ensure our food security policies continue to be robust.