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.
Report Card shows ag resilient in the face of strong headwinds
The NFF's pulse check of agriculture's trajectory towards $100 billion by 2030 confirmed drought-breaking rains had almost single-handedly held the value of farm output steady at $61 billion. Hear more about the sector's tailwinds and headwinds in a recording of the 2020 Report Card launch here. On Monday, ABARES forecast a record farm gate output of $65 billion for 2020-2021.
ACCC inquiry confirms power imbalance is hurting farmers
The NFF has called on Government to urgently implement all recommendations from the ACCC’s Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry, confirming its support for findings from the inquiry. The Inquiry found that food supply chains were rife with bargaining power imbalances and the misuse of power against farmers.
Plea to report rogue operators, crop losses tally $22 million
NFF President Fiona Simson this week implored anyone with experience or knowledge of mistreatment when working on Australian farms to inform the appropriate authorities. The plea comes as worker shortages continue to challenge growers with the NFF Horticulture Council National Lost Crop Register revealing $22 million in lost crops. The National Lost Crop Register can be found here.
New free, independent service to help connect the bush
This week marked the launch of the Regional Tech Hub, a platform to assist regional and rural Australians with connectivity issues. The Regional Tech Hub is a one-stop-shop to troubleshoot phone and internet problems and provides up to date and relevant information online and over the phone.
Connectivity to power a $15.6 billion contribution to agriculture’s bottom line
New research by NBN Co has found that internet-enabled technologies could add $15.6 billion to agricultural production in Australia. The research by economics firm AlphaBeta shows the largest gains can be found in dryland cropping – accounting for $5.7 billion. See the full commodity breakdown here.
Weekly insight
How Australians shopped during the height of the pandemic
New food consumption data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the amount of foods and non-alcoholic beverages purchased from Australian supermarkets and other food retailers grew by over half a million tonnes in 2019-20…

Source: ABARES, 2020
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2020 Report Card: Towards $100 billion by 2030

This week, NFF launched its 2020 Report Card, the second annual report tracking the progress of our 2030 Roadmap.

Acting as somewhat of a pulse check of the NFF-led goal for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, the 2020 Report Card looks at policy and investment progress across the five key pillars identified in the 2030 Roadmap:

1. Customers and the Value Chain
2. Growing Sustainably
3. Unlocking Innovation
4. People and Communities
5. Capital and Risk Management

The 2020 Report Card reflects the ups and downs of the year that has been, highlighting devastating bushfires and a global pandemic as the two main headwinds farmers have had to navigate in 2020.

Improved seasonal conditions across much of Australia and a low Australian dollar have been two important factors that have provided a much needed boost for farmers this year and have heavily contributed to keeping the value of farm output steady at around $61 billion.

The 2020 Report Card provides and earnest and critical lense over the NFF’s goals to have Australia’s agriculture sector be a $100 billion industry by 2030. Measuring against the data and information provided by industry and leading independent research bodies, the NFF graded it’s 2020 progress.

The aspirations that were identified as needing the most improvement were Australia’s access to world-leading markets, access to labour and the need to remunerate farmers for the work that they do in managing Australia’s landscape.

It is likely that all three of these aspirations will continue to face significant headwinds as farmers continue to navigate the ongoing effects of COVID-19, including a volatile global market and border closures and restrictions movements.

However, there are a number of positives the sector can look forward to in the coming year. Namely, the sector will likely enjoy the benefits from a record-breaking harvest, ongoing work into the Agriculture Sustainability Framework, the progress of agricultural innovation and climate research as well as the promise of new export opportunities with the European Union-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

A significant win for Australian agriculture this year has been the improved engagement with community, in the pursuit of NFF's goal for agriculture to be Australia's most trusted industry by 2030.

COVID-19 has provided the industry with a unique opportunity to highlight the great work Australian farmers do in producing world class food and fibre. At a time where concerns over food security were heightened, Australian farmers provided reassurance to Australians as they continued to work around the clock to keep us fed.

The 2020 Report Card intends to maintain focus on the issues that are critical to our industry’s long-term success. The NFF will continue to lead the conversation on these issues as we enter the final decade of our 2030 Roadmap.

Quote of the week
"I am angered by almost weekly media reports of workers having what can be a frightening experience on Australian farms. If you are a farm worker and you believe you have been subject to mistreatment, you must report your experience either to the Fair Work Ombudsman or the police."

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

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