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.
National Cabinet to develop national Agricultural Worker Movement Code
Last week, National Cabinet announced it would develop a national Agricultural Worker Movement Code following calls from farming organisations to allow the swift passage of agricultural workers and farmers across borders. The Code is currently being developed with input from industry and is expected to be considered when National Cabinet meets on 4 September.
Government announces program for seasonal workers
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud last week announced that the Federal Government would allow targeted recruitment of labour under the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Program. As the agriculture industry faces critical workforce shortages due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Minister Littleproud urged state and territories to take advantage of the schemes.

Industry welcomes ACCC food supply chain review
This week the Treasurer Josh Frydenburg and Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud announced the ACCC would investigate markets for perishable agricultural goods. The inquiry will investigate harmful imbalances of bargaining power between farmers and intermediaries, including processors and retailers.
Younger farmers face unique challenges & opportunities
This week, ABC's 7.30 program highlighted the stories of a group of young farmers taking on a future of making a living off the land. The episode showcased the challenges and opportunities young people face when returning to the farm.
Weekly insight
Talk of a national tree change movement more than talk...
In today's copy of The Australian Bernard Salt, managing director of the Demographics Group, highlighted that a growing number of regional areas are experiencing positive net migration - busting the myth of regional decline.
Source: The Australian, 2020
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Protecting the farm sector's fastest growing asset

With all that’s transpired in 2020, you’d be forgiven for overlooking an announcement from the National Farmers’ Federation in February, when Australia’s first Farm Data Code was released to the public.

The Code was the culmination of 2 years’ work by a coalition of farmers, academics and agtech innovators – working together to set the ground rules for how Australia’s agricultural data is managed.

The origins of the Code can be traced back further than 2 years, to the cross-industry Precision 2 Decision project co-funded by the rural research and development corporations and the Commonwealth Government. That project surveyed more than 1,000 producers to understand their concerns about embracing digital technology. It also took a global scan of what leading countries were doing to stay ahead of disruption.

The findings were stark. Australian producers understood that data was a business asset that was growing in value, but they were reluctant to entrust it to the proliferation of services vying for their business. Precision 2 Decision also found that Australia was falling behind jurisdictions like the US, New Zealand and the EU – who had already moved to protect farm data through regulatory and self-regulatory means.

The NFF convened the Farm Data Working Group to close that gap. The Farm Data Code aims to clarify the expectations for business who manage agricultural data. It covers how the data is used, shared and managed by those companies.

Since launch, a number of innovative technology companies have been undergoing a process of comparing their practices against the Code, and updating and aligning the terms of their agreements with growers.

The NFF will shortly commence its first review of the Code, welcoming feedback from farmers and data aggregators on whether its provisions are striking the right balance between enabling innovation, and keeping farmers’ data secure. We are also exploring a certification model, to help farmers make informed choices about which products comply with these rules.

The Australian Farm Institute estimates that digitisation of Australian agriculture could add $20.3 billion to our annual output – propelling us towards our $100 billion goal. But with such enormous disruption comes new risks for farm businesses to manage. The Farm Data Code is one step we’re taking to ensure we’re keeping pace with those challenges.

Quote of the week
"Australia was not built to have internal borders. The very point of federation was not to have them!"

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

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