This Friday, over 90 key leaders from across Australia’s agriculture sector and its supply chain will gather in Canberra for the first in a series of Blueprint for Australian Agriculture forums since the document’s launch, designed to drive forward the findings of the Blueprint. The first industry-developed plan for the future of Australia’s farm sector, the Blueprint was developed by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Blueprint partners, with input from almost 4,000 representatives from across the sector and supply chain. Launched in February 2013, the Blueprint is now in its legacy phase, and the forum this week will be the first step in taking the findings of the Blueprint and turning them into real, tangible actions. Representatives from across the sector, including farmers, commodity groups, transporters, input providers, retailers, the banking sector, educators and Government are attending, and will have the chance to participate in discussions around the seven key themes of the Blueprint in order to drive the process forward. NFF President Duncan Fraser said he is looking forward to turning the key strategies outlined in the Blueprint into actions. “The seven key themes outlined in the Blueprint are Innovation, Research, Development and Extension (RD&E); Competitiveness; Trade and Market Access; People; Agriculture in Society; Natural Resources and Transformational Issues – all areas that require action today to ensure the secure future of Australian agriculture tomorrow,” Mr Fraser said. “Among the actions called for in the Blueprint is an increase in investment in agricultural RD&E to help improve productivity growth and address issues like the changing climate, as well as upgrades to critical infrastructure and a reduction in red tape to assist the sector in remaining competitive. “The role of agriculture in the education system, the importance of long-term environmental sustainability, strategies to build relationships with the wider community and the need for agriculture to be resilient in the face of future uncertainties are also key issues outlined in the Blueprint, and it is these critical areas that need to be focused on, and developed into tangible actions and responses. “Importantly, Friday’s forum is about bringing together agriculture and the wider supply chain to look at collaborative solutions and actions, and ensure the strong future of Australian agriculture,” Mr Fraser said. The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture is an initiative of the NFF with support from partners Westpac, Woolworths, Bayer and Syngenta Australia. The Blueprint is available to download [here]http://www.nff.org.au/blueprint.