A whole-of-government approach is required if Australia genuinely wants a competitive, productive and sustainable food industry in the decades ahead, the Australian Dairy Industry Council said today.
ADIC president Chris Griffin said that while the National Food Plan green paper recognised the breadth of influences on our food supply, its scope for proposed practical actions was too limited.
“This will be a missed opportunity if the National Food Plan remains focused only on those areas that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests can influence,” Mr Griffin said.
“The viability of our food industries is all too often undermined by well-intentioned but counterproductive actions in other areas such as health and nutrition; the environment; training; and, research, development and extension.
“A truly integrated vision would ensure that policies in these other areas were better designed to achieve their objectives, while at the same time supporting safe, secure and affordable food supply.”
Mr Griffin said the dairy industry submission, among other things, highlights the need for:
- An integrated, whole-of-government vision on food security, supported by a Ministerial Food Forum, and State and Territory arrangements via COAG.
- Specific strategies to improve integration with National Nutrition Policy, and increase consumption of core foods.
- A workforce development strategy that addresses employment and training issues across the whole food sector, not just in agriculture.
- Expanding Australia’s Agricultural Counsellors postings program into key emerging markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.
- Additional government funding for agricultural Research and Development.
“The dairy industry will use the National Food Plan process to highlight the need for integrated, decisive government action and support across all policy areas affecting food,” Mr Griffin said.
“We will continue to advocate strongly through this and other forums for actions and policies that will genuinely support a safe, affordable and sustainable food supply.”
Chris Griffin, ADIC Chair
M: 0402 846 239