National Farmers' Federation

Farmers outline expectations for Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper

In anticipation of the upcoming Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper (the White Paper), the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today outlined the farm sector’s measures of success for the announcement.
NFF President, Brent Finlay, said the White Paper comes at a critical time for the industry – as strong commodity prices drive record earnings.
“The record year predicted for 2015-16 is just the start for Australian agriculture. We see this as part of an emerging trend which will see agriculture play an expanding role in the Australian economy.
“The Federal Government has an important part to play in promoting and facilitating this new growth phase for agriculture.
“The NFF hopes to see a White Paper that walks the line between real, tangible initiatives farmers can adopt on-farm, and long term vision.
“The Federal Government has already made significant advances in some areas, notably access to overseas markets – with a string of new trade agreements. The White Paper is the right initiative at the right time to capitalise on this early success.
The NFF hopes to see several key themes covered off within the White Paper, building on the NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, launched in 2013. These themes include:
• infrastructure and supply chain;
• trade and market access;
• on-farm productivity and competitiveness;
• innovation and research;
• accessing the best human talent; and,
• branding for Australian food and fibre.
“The White Paper needs to nail down the basics like instigating functional and lasting drought policy, but then go that extra step – for example setting a vision for how farming can be profoundly changed by improved digital connectivity.
“Agriculture is the only pillar of the national economy which we can expect to see double in value by 2030. This won’t happen by chance. Success will rely on a cogent strategy which guides the combined effort of industry and government over coming years.
“This is the role the White Paper needs to play with the support of all sides of politics and industry. We very much look forward to seeing what awaits us once details are in the public domain,” Mr Finlay concluded.

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