Underpinned by positive seasonal conditions and high commodity prices, Australian agriculture is on a trajectory of unprecedented growth with ABARES forecasting farm gate output to tally $78 billion in 2021-2022. To supercharge this growth, in 2021, the NFF continued to prosecute the national policy issues and innovations pivotal to NFF’s goal for a $100 billion ag sector by 2030.
NFF’s top 10 wins for Australian farmers in 2021:
1. As the national debate on climate policy heated up, the NFF successfully communicated the need for agriculture to be protected and supported in Australia’s transition to a reduced-emissions future. The NFF advanced the development of Australian Agriculture Sustainability Framework and entered a new partnership-link to quantify the link between natural capital enhancement and farm productivity. The #RealClimateAction campaign showcased the everyday positive climate stories of farmers. These stories were shown at the Glasgow COP meeting and on Qantas in-flight entertainment.
2. After six years of unrelenting advocacy by the NFF, in September the Federal Government established a dedicated Agriculture-specific Visa to specifically address the sector’s growing workforce and skill deficit.
3. The NFF kept the pressure on National Cabinet to duly recognise agriculture’s essential service criteria and take a ‘common sense’ approach to border restrictions for farmers and agriculture workers. The NFF also updated the COVID-19 Workplace Guide.
4. Australia signed a FTA with the UK to guarantee tariff-free, quota-free access to the UK market for all agricultural products, after phase in periods of up to 15 years.
5. On the back of strong advocacy from the NFF, the Federal Budget delivered $400 million for the bolstering and modernisation of Australia’s biosecurity system. The Commonwealth also committed to the creation of a National Biosecurity Strategy, with the NFF invited to sit on the National Biosecurity Reference Group which will assist in developing the strategy.
6. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment appointed the NFF to lead the AgCAREERSTART project, designed to introduce young Australians to a career in agriculture.
7. The NFF rejoined the World Farmer’s Organisation (WFO), noting the need to engage more deeply on issues relating to climate, sustainability, and trade issues on a global stage.
8. The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition continued to bring the inequities in bush connectivity to the attention of the nation’s decision makers. Member for Mayo, Rebekah Sharkie MP, introduced a motion into parliament recognising the goals of the RRRCC.
9. On November 19 the nation celebrated the fifth annual National Agriculture Day. The hashtags #AgDayAU and #AgVenture trended on Twitter for most of the day with thousands of Australians sharing their own #AgVentures and ways of celebrating the day. The AgVenture Careers Expo webinar series and the AgVenture Photo Competition were highlights.
10. 11 women graduated from the fourth annual Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program –link to graduation. The Program’s partners, leading representative, business and Government organisations reported on their progress in achieving improved gender equity with their leadership teams.