Statement by Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers’ Federation
Today’s inflation numbers reveal the significant pinch consumers are feeling at the supermarket checkout.
Food and beverages are the 4th highest inflation category over the past 12 months at 5.9%. When we look specifically at fruit and vegetables, these have seen a whopping 5.8% spike in the last quarter alone.
While much of this spike is driven by the short-term impacts of flooding, the ABS has also pointed to more structural supply chain and cost factors – including the cost of fertilisers, transport and labour availability.
These challenges faced by farmers are hitting the hip pocket of all Australians. The Albanese Government needs to look urgently at these farm-gate issues that are making it harder for Australians to put food on the table.
Workforce solutions are within the Government’s control and should be top priority. We urgently need suitable visa pathways to welcome overseas workers and keep them safe on-farm.
To be marked a success, the upcoming Jobs & Skills Summit must produce a viable alternative to the Ag Visa. Failure to do so will guarantee lower farm output and higher prices, adding to the pain already caused by repeated flood events.