Major political parties forget eating is an agricultural act

Agriculture today is so much more than farming. It is part of a really important value chain that goes beyond the farm gate and into everyone’s homes and we want government to see it in this light.

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Yet neither of the major parties has genuinely outlined their policies for agriculture

Agriculture wants a government that recognises and invests in our culture that aspires to excellence.

If Australia is to be the food bowl of the 21st century then we need to move beyond the rhetoric and invest in it

Farming is tough and our farmers are doing it tough there is no denying this and we can’t expect them to produce food and fibre for the world for nothing

We need serious investment in innovation and research and development that deliver a fair return for farmers in the shortest turnaround time

Food and fibre is produced by people and we need a government that is committed to investing in our farmers and their support networks

All of the power lies at the top of the supply chain in this country. If we are going to level the playing field we need smart young people farming. We need to identify them, engage them and provide them with the skills and knowledge to actively participate in, and extract greater value from the fibre to fabric and paddock to plate supply chain.

But its not just the government’s role is it? – farmers must acknowledge they need to be active participants in collaborative and cohesive effort

I totally agree with Senator Fiona Nash when she says

There is little recognition of the enormous contribution agriculture makes to the economy.

Why? Is it because farmers are notoriously bad at selling the positives of what they do? Is it as a result of the Labor government’s complete disregard for the agriculture sector? Is it the disconnect that continues to grow between city and country? Probably all of these and then some.

Whatever the reasons, it has to change soon. The opportunities for Australian agriculture over coming decades are significant.

However the sector

  • needs  to have confidence in itself,
  • ,t needs the nation to recognise the contribution it makes to our economy and society, and
  • it needs leadership at a government level that maximises the many opportunities on the horizon.

See the full article here

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For dairy and the egg sector the The Nationals have said they will facilitate the development of a code governing the relationship between suppliers, processors and supermarkets which ensures fair return for all.

As a matter of priority we will take steps to strengthen the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, and related regulations, to increase the bargaining position of dairy farmers and egg producers relative to the major supermarkets, by:

a) adding an ‘effects’ test to the misuse of market power provision (section 46);

b) establishing a statutory Small Business Ombudsman to facilitate a low cost tribunal process for farmers;

c) changing unfair contract laws to cover small businesses not just consumers; and

d) supporting the creation of a supermarket code of conduct applying to supermarkets and their purchase of dairy and egg products

Consumer Ombudsman

The Nationals will provide stronger protection for small businesses and farmers from anticompetitive conduct, including through:

• The establishment of a Commonwealth Australian Small Business and Farming Commissioner modelled on the Victorian Small Business

Commissioner;

• An amendment to the Competition and Consumer Act to provide an effective prohibition against anti-competitive price discrimination;

The strengthening of section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act to prohibit ‘creeping acquisitions’, which individually substantially lessen competition, but which over time lead to the increased dominance of merged entities; and

• The development of a code of conduct covering large retailer-supplier dealings and dispute resolution processes.

For a little light and at times ‘risqué’ relief this election comment is a fun read

You cant waste your vote http://www.chickennation.com/2013/08/18/you-cant-waste-your-vote/