Farmers, agribusinesses, regional communities and the wider food and fibre supply chain will have the opportunity to shape the future of Australia’s farming sector under the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, launched today by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Westpac and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joe Ludwig.
“Australia’s 140,000 farmers and the other 1.6 million people involved in agriculture and its related industries in Australia play a vitally important role in feeding and clothing our country and the world,” NFF President Jock Laurie said in a media release issued today at the launch of the Blueprint at Parliament House.
“Agriculture is one of the most important industries in terms of our contribution to not only the economy, but also society, and there is real need to develop a vision of the role this industry needs to play, what it needs to achieve in the future and how we, collectively, are going to make this happen.
“The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture provides the opportunity for all people involved with Australia’s food and fibre sectors, from production to consumption, to raise the issues and challenges facing agriculture and the opportunities they think are critical to its continued success.
“At the end of the day, we want to see a strong and sustainable agricultural industry right across Australia, and we are calling on all who have an involvement with, or interest in, agriculture to help us achieve this through the development of the Blueprint,” Mr Laurie said.
Westpac’s Chief Executive of Regional Commercial and Agribusiness, Graham Jennings, said that it was a great chance to help guide the farming sector towards a prosperous future.
“The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture provides an opportunity for farmers and other interested stakeholders across the sector to bring together their experience and expertise and map out the future they wish to create for their generation and the next,” Mr Jennings said.
“Westpac is proud to partner with the NFF to deliver this Blueprint. We are Australia’s first bank and we have been an integral part of Australian farming for close to 200 years. We are firmly invested in the future success of the farm sector,” Mr Jennings said.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, welcomed the development of a Blueprint and encouraged producers to have their say.
“Australia’s agriculture industry is strong and diverse, but the blueprint will help to ensure it has a strong and sustainable future,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I commend the National Farmers Federation and Westpac on this initiative, which will provide all those in the industry with the chance to have their say about where agriculture is headed. I look forward to watching the development of the Blueprint and continuing to work with the NFF and industry more broadly to ensure Australian producers remain among the most innovative and productive in the world.”
The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, presented by Westpac and the NFF, will be developed over the coming year in collaboration with the agricultural sector. All are invited to participate in the formation of this key policy document. The Blueprint development will include a series of workshops, hosted by Westpac, around the country, commencing with Rockhampton Qld in November 2011.