The National Farmers’ Federation and Australian banks have agreed to hold a regular summit to discuss issues affecting farmers across Australia.
The first meeting was held yesterday and attended by NFF CEO Tony Mahar and ABA CEO Anna Bligh, along with representatives from banks and state and territory farming bodies.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said farmers depended on a strong banking sector and the relationship between agriculture and lenders worked best when each other’s expectations and responsibilities were understood.
“Farmers have faced no shortage of challenges in the past five years, and at the heart of effectively meeting these challenges has been a farmer’s relationship with their bank.”
ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the meeting was a vital forum to ensure that banks and farmers are working together on key challenges such as drought and climate change mitigation.
“Agriculture is a critical part of the Australian economy. Banks worked closely with the NFF through the drought and this ongoing dialogue will be crucial as the nation recovers from COVID-19,” Ms Bligh said.
The NFF and the ABA discussed their mutual interest in sustainability, climate change and a reduced emissions future and animal welfare.
As part of the Federal Government’s National Drought Forum, the NFF and its membership have been tasked by Agriculture & Drought Minister, David Littleproud to work with the ABA, accountants and financial advisors on ensuring farmers build resilience and are better prepared for future droughts.
“Sustainable farms are productive and profitable farms which is the end goal for farmers and lenders alike,” Mr Mahar said.
The meeting also discussed a nationally consistent farm debt mediation scheme.
Banks and farming organisations will meet again in October.