The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will today host its third Blueprint for Australian Agriculture forum, bringing together over 100 organisations across the supply chain to pursue the collective priorities for Australian agriculture. Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce MP confirmed the Blueprint will complement the Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper: cementing its importance as a key visioning document and strategic plan for the sector. Minister Joyce and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, will address the forum to provide a Government perspective along with leaders from across the sector, including futurist Paul Higgins. NFF President Brent Finlay believed the need for such a forum was timely, given industry’s high level of input to the Government’s White Paper earlier this year, and more importantly, as the Government prepares to deliver on the next step of this process, through the release of its Green Paper in the near future. “The Blueprint is about coming together to set the future direction for the agriculture sector. Earlier this year, industry contributed heavily to the Government’s White Paper process, signifying a real commitment to boost profitability and competitiveness of Australian farmers,” said Mr Finlay. “The Blueprint was never designed to be a document that sat on the shelf and gathered dust. In fact, the Blueprint was the first industry-wide effort to set out a strong and sustainable future path for Australian agriculture—a strategic plan developed by industry, for industry. “Almost 4,000 farmers, transporters, retailers, consultants, educators and rural community groups took part in the development of the Blueprint. Today’s forum marks the continued commitment by the industry to drive the Blueprint’s agenda forward. “Today, we will be checking in on the work that various industry groups have undertaken as part of progressing the Blueprint’s agenda, particularly around the themes of Innovation and RD&E; Competitiveness; Agriculture in Society; and Natural Resources. This work sees the Blueprint coming to life,” said Mr Finlay. As today looks to the future of the Blueprint and collective industry action, the forum will focus on what models are required to maintain industry momentum. The key will be ensuring Blueprint efforts build on, rather than duplicate, existing functions of the NFF and existing industry representative structures. The Blueprint is a prime example of industry working together, particularly on the ‘bigger-than-business’ issues. These are the issues that individuals cannot tackle alone, but collectively, can make a real difference. Today’s forum is an opportunity for industry to come together to cooperate, taking another step to turn the Blueprint findings into a reality. The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture is an initiative of the NFF with support from partners Bayer and Syngenta Australia. The Blueprint is available to download at http://www.nff.org.au/blueprint.