HUNGER GAMES: Australia Is Seeking Ideas On How To Keep Its Farmers Competitive

No longer just the sheep’s back.. the Australian government is investigating competitiveness in the agriculture industry. Photo Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

While Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission has called out the anti-competitive behaviour of Italian tinned tomato importers, leaving one of Australia’s last food canneries, SPC Ardmona, facing closure, federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is looking for ways to increase the industry’s competitiveness, releasing an issues paper in the lead-up to a government White Paper on agricultural competitiveness.

The issues paper has identified a range of matters the investigating taskforce believes shape the competitiveness of Australian agriculture, such as:

  • food security
  • improving farm gate returns, including drought management
  • access to finance
  • competitiveness through the value chain
  • regional communities
  • inputs along the supply chain
  • reducing inefficient regulation
  • enhancing agricultural exports
  • effectiveness of incentives for investment and job creation.

In the coming months, the taskforce developing the White Paper will visit 25 regional towns and all capital cities for consultation sessions with farmers and related industries such as transport and banking.

“Now is your chance to think big,” the Minister said.

Appointments for one-on-one meetings with the taskforce are available and written submissions are also being sought and can be lodged via the website.

Submissions are due by 17 April, 2014. Details, including the terms of reference, issues papers and consultation schedule are available on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper website.

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