I sit in my office and get to watch the sun come up and the seasons come and go and I never cease to be inspired. Like agriculture I am taking on new challenges and feeling a little fragile so I added a little of bit of Darwinism to one of my more spectacular office views and began this blog.
Recently my vision page which says
I have a big picture vision for agriculture in this country. I want an innovative, dynamic, exciting and PROFITABLE agrifood sector. A sector that our next generation’s best and brightest see as the place they want to be.
My mission is to get everyone to share my vision AND HELP ME MAKE IT HAPPEN
Generated this question from a reader
What can we ordinary suburban Aussies do to help you achieve it? I’m up for the challenge, and am avoiding the big 3 as much as I can. But it is a bit lonely out here. I just don’t get why so many flock to them when real convenience, quality and value could be delivered to their door, or damn well near it, without any interaction with the Woollies and Coles of the world. My spirit, and my wallet is with you and other like mind people. Jac
And it made me think just what is the Farmer Call to Arms?
What is the most important thing that we can ask Jac and other like minded people to do?
and from another reader
As an ardent admirer, I think Australian agriculture has an incredible life of its own. It is innovative, ready to respond to the needs of its markets, be it noodle manufacturers in Indonesia or a consumer in Victoria seeking some organic dairy products. There are big players and little players supplying produce that is of enviable quality to local and overseas markets. The food and fibre produced by farmers here create jobs and money into our economy. Lisa Claessen
Says Veneta Chapple
I think the answer is simple but the solution much harder to execute. Ag needs a common goal to unite behind and then a leader to bring us all together.
So what is the common goal. What is our action plan. What answer do I give Jac?
Next Friday I am off to the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture forum. This will allow me to ask questions about the Blueprint and share some successes the organisations I am working with are having. Then we get to define the most pressing issues and therefore the most important goals for us to focus on right now?
Very excitingly I was given a task, pre viewing if you like and it just turned out to be one of my most favourite YouTube videos.
If the popularity of this post is anything to go by Tens Reasons why the World Should buy Australian produce then maybe just may this could be our common goal and our call to action
1. HIGH QUALITY
Australian agricultural products are regarded as being of the highest quality by fussy consumers in places like Japan, Korea, Singapore, the US and the EU. Australia is one of the few nations that has consistently exported agricultural products to all these nations for many years, and the high quality of Australian produce has helped to retain access to these markets.
Australian agricultural products have a very high level of safety for consumers, being free of disease and chemical and biological contaminants. This is regularly highlighted by the results of the National Agricultural Residue Survey and the National Antibiotic Monitoring Program. The fact that only Australia maintained access to both the Japanese and Korean beef markets during the entire period of the Mad Cow Disease incident is just one example of the high levels of biosecurity associated with Australian agricultural products.
Australia has the most advanced national livestock identification system (NLIS) of any nation on earth – a fact that is readily acknowledged by competitor nations such as the US and Brazil. This provides Australia with an unmatched ability to ensure the integrity and safety of meat and other products. Similarly, advanced logistics and supply chains used in the grains, horticulture, sugar and wine industries ensure the integrity of Australian products.
4. COST TO CONSUMERS
Australian agriculture operates with the lowest levels of taxpayer support of any agriculture sector in the world, according to annual surveys carried out by the OECD. This means Australian taxpayers do not pay any hidden or extra costs for Australian agricultural products, unlike consumers in most developed nations whose taxes subsidise farmer incomes.
5. LOW AND DECLINING GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS.
According to the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australian agriculture is the only sector of the economy to have reduced greenhouse emissions over the last two decades. Were it not for the 30% reduction in emissions from the agriculture sector over this period, Australia would have exceeded its Kyoto Protocol national emission target by a considerable margin, and taxpayers could have experienced a considerable cost if Australia decided to purchase international carbon credits to offset the additional emissions.
6. FAIR TREATMENT OF WORKERS
Australia has the fourth highest wages in the world, and some of the highest standards of workplace health and safety enforced by regulation. Even in cases where overseas labour is used, these workers enjoy the same award rates, and health and welfare benefits of Australians. This is in stark contrast to the agriculture sectors of many overseas nations, which rely on low-paid immigrant labour, or have much lower wage and safety standards than Australia.
Australian agricultural businesses operate under some of the strictest environmental controls in the world. Australia’s most recent ‘State of the Environment’ report noted the substantial improvements that have been made to land management in Australia, with the adoption of conservation tillage practices higher in Australia that in any other nation. A recent ABARES report has detailed the very high level of engagement of Australian farmers in biodiversity conservation, and Australian water management policies are acknowledged as world leading by international agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank. Australian farmers utilise much lower rates of chemical and fertiliser use than farmers in virtually any developed or developing nation, and are rapidly adopting precision agriculture technologies to make artificial input use even more efficient.
8. SUPPORTING AUSTRALIA’S REGIONS
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian agriculture sector is a much bigger direct employer of people than the mining sector, and has been and remains the main source of employment in many Australian regions, bringing important income and helping to maintain services and infrastructure in these regions. Purchasing Australian agricultural products directly results in the creation of Australian jobs.
9. HIGH ANIMAL WELFARE STANDARDS
Australian farm animal welfare standards are some of the highest in the world, with many practices and production systems banned in Australia that are still utilised in overseas locations that export products (such as pigmeats) to Australia. Australia is also the only nation in the world that has major programs aimed at improving animal welfare standards in markets that are destinations for Australian livestock exports. Purchasing Australian livestock products is the best way to ensure high standards of animal welfare.
10. SUPPORTING FAMILY FARMING
Australian agriculture overwhelmingly consists of family farming businesses, a contrast to many overseas locations where large-scale factory farming is carried out in intensive production systems that use very high levels of inputs and create significant waste and pollution problems. Purchasing Australian farm products directly supports Australian farming families.
Source Australian Farm Institute.
Thanks Jac for your question. I will be giving it some very serious thought on Friday