The week's news and insights from the National Farmers' Federation
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Welcome to the NFF’s Weekly Wrap, bringing you the week’s farming and political news each Friday.
Queensland Banana growers devastated by cyclone
Banana growers in far north Queensland have been left with damaged crops after Cyclone Niran devastated much of the region with strong winds and heavy rainfall. The total damage to the region is yet to be estimated.
Workforce strategy to ease worker shortage woes released
The National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee's National Agricultural Workforce Strategy has been released following a years-long study into Australia's agricultural workforce needs. The extensive document touches on the main issues impacting the sector and lists a number of recommendations aimed at finding immediate and longer-term answers to Australian agriculture's labour shortage.
Business Council of Australia launches 'Shifting gear' report
This week, the Business Council of Australia launched its three tiered approach to safely, quickly and permanently reopen the country and avoid another economic hit. The Shifting gear report calls on National Cabinet to take advantage of the vaccine rollout and unwind Australia's patchwork of COVID-19 restrictions.
Horticulture Outlook signals concern for consumers
According to the most recent data from ABARES, the lack of overseas workers is likely to result in a forecast drop in fruit production by as much as 17% and vegetable production by around 2%. Industry is warning that this drop in production is likely to impact consumers, with ABARES forecasting prices to increase between 7 – 29%.
Coles 'Meet the Buyer' event puts spotlight on WA producers
Western Australian producers will have an exclusive opportunity to showcase their product to Coles’ team of expert food buyers at the state’s first virtual ‘Meet the Buyer’ event on Thursday, 18 March. The event will give big and small WA producers the chance to talk to Coles buyers about why their product should be on supermarket shelves. To register, email outlining the products you wish to showcase.
Weekly insight
Agriculture records its best year yet
In its latest agriculture outlook ABARES forecasts Australia’s farm production to reach $65.9 billion in 2020/21. The record breaking figure has been driven by strong commodity prices and improved seasonal conditions and comes off the back of an incredibly touch three to five years for many farmers who experience drought, floods and bushfires.

Source: ABARES, 2021
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#ChooseToChallenge on International Women's Day

Monday, 8 March marks International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating women all over the world.

It also marks the opening of applications for the NFF’s 2021 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge and is designed to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements and collectively work together to create an inclusive world.

Australian agriculture has a unique opportunity to challenge gender inequality.

For many years, women in agriculture have faced unspoken barriers and struggled to climb the corporate ladder, leaving their passion for agriculture and the future of regional Australia left unheard.

It wasn't until 2016 that the National Farmers' Federation welcomed its first female President in Fiona Simson, making her the first female President in the company's 40-year history.

Progress is slowly being made, with initiatives such as the NFF's Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program transforming gender representation within agriculture.

Today, women make up 50 percent of the NFF's Board.

Last year, for the first time, Program partner, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment reported female representation on agriculture, fisheries, and forestry related government boards as having risen to 50 per cent.

These two examples demonstrate the serious headway being made to achieve the NFF's 2030 Roadmap goal of doubling the number of women in agriculture's leadership roles by 2030.

On Monday 8 March, encourage those around you to #ChooseToChallenge.
Quote of the week
"“The situation is only getting worse for our horticulture growers across the country. Our growers are in desperate need for harvest labour and have been for the better part of a year.”

Sent by the National Farmers' Federation, NFF House, 14-16 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600

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