Agribusiness sector relies upon profitable farms: NFF

Beef Central, 18/03/2014

Profitability inside the farm gate is essential for the well-being of the broader Australian agribusiness sector, National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay said following the federation’s members’ council meetings in Canberra this week.

“I’ve heard much about sustainability over the past decades, and while it is important to ensure our agricultural industries operate in an environmentally and socially sustainable way, we can only continue to operate if we are profitable,” Mr Finlay said.

The NFF members’ council brings together representatives from each of the State Farm Organisations, commodity councils and NFF associate members.

Key areas of discussion at this week’s meeting included trade, infrastructure, drought policy reform and the Government white papers being developed for agricultural competitiveness and northern Australia.

“From what our members are saying, profitability inside the farm gate is at the heart of Australian agribusiness, benefiting the entire supply-chain and rural communities,” Mr Finlay said.

“While our export opportunities continue to grow, we must ensure profits inside the farm gate enable our agribusinesses to remain competitive on the world stage.”

Bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations currently underway also had potentially significant ramifications for Australia’s farming enterprises.

“The NFF will continue to advocate a strong ‘team Australian agriculture’ approach to trade agreements,” Mr Finlay said.

“Trade deals must be good for agriculture. There are numerous factors that impact on farm-gate profitability—either directly or indirectly.

“We are continuing to work with Government on a wide range of areas including trade, infrastructure development and drought policy reform. We need longer-term commitment to ensure there isn’t policy development on the run. The worst time to develop a drought policy is in a drought.

“There are two major Government reviews that provide a great opportunity for us to continue to work with our members to drive the recommendations from the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture—the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, and the Northern Australia White Paper.”

The NFF has a new committee structure, endorsed by the Members’ Council, to develop strong policies for the agricultural sector and to prosecute against those policies.


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