National Farmers' Federation

Greens food policy half baked

The Greens ‘Our Food Future’ policy launched yesterday is an adhoc approach to the farming community NFF President Duncan Fraser said today.
“While we cautiously support a range of measures included in the Greens Plan for Food Security, it is fair to say that there are still some fundamental issues that we are diametrically opposed on” Mr Fraser said.
The NFF welcomes the Greens commitment to initiatives such as an extra $300 million for research and development in agriculture, extra extension officers, a Food Advisory Council to provide expert advice to government on how to achieve a sustainable and prosperous food system and a National Food Policy Ministerial Board to coordinate national food policy.
However, NFF is concerned that the Greens still do not truly understand the farming community and the importance of issues such as the strong support for the continuation of the live export trade, the concerns around a moratorium on CSG development or the potential implications of a water trigger in the EPBC Act.
“Some of the measures proposed by the Greens are simplistic solutions to complex issues like trade agreements, land use and more broadly nutritional issues” Fraser said.
While the farming community seeks improvements to the agricultural policy landscape we are interested in real solutions that will work and not measures that look good on paper.
The NFF 2013 Election Platform outlines five key areas that seek commitments from all parties and parliamentarians. The five NFF policy priorities are:
* Reprioritising agriculture in the national agenda.
* Driving innovation and productivity through increased investment in agriculture RD&E.
* Increasing competitiveness and profitability.
* Building a stronger workforce:
* Balancing agriculture and the environment:
The NFF will be releasing a scorecard rating the Greens, ALP and Coalition responses against the NFF Election Platform ahead of the election to provide a guide to the level of commitment of the major parties to the farming community.

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