AUSVEG has today supported Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper process, with CEO Richard Mulcahy saying the process addresses many of the key challenges facing Australian agriculture.

“Our optimism in relation to the process follows the release of last year’s Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper that identified numerous policy ideas that AUSVEG regards as vitally important to the future direction of Australia’s vegetable and potato industries in both the short and long term,” said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy.

The Green Paper is ultimately expected to inform the White Paper that will guide Australian agricultural policy through the challenges of the years ahead.

“Whilst we have yet to see the White Paper, for unnamed sources within the Federal Government to be quoted recently as allegedly suggesting it would be filled with ‘crackpot’ ideas is flippant and irresponsible, and underestimates the breadth of Australia’s agricultural sector and its importance to this nation.”

“Given the enormous role that horticulture and broader agriculture is expected to play in Australia’s future economic prosperity, it is important that a broad cross-section of issues are critically examined in the upcoming White Paper.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“Infrastructure, competition and regulation, and finance, business structures and taxation were among the important areas of policy canvassed in the Green Paper, which also contained policy suggestions such as a possible expansion of Working Holiday Visas, reducing red tape, improved biosecurity arrangements and access to international markets,” said Mr Mulcahy.

“Another issue of paramount importance to Australian vegetable and potato growers is that of stronger and more transparent Country of Origin Labelling laws, which were also canvassed in the Green Paper.”

“To describe these issues as ‘crackpot’ is offensive in the extreme.”

“With such significant momentum, including from the Prime Minister himself, currently behind the push for better Country of Origin Labelling laws in the wake of recent imported food scares, we would hate to think criticisms of the White Paper are part of broader efforts to derail meaningful improvements to our current labelling laws.” 


MEDIA CONTACT:  Andrew MacDonald, AUSVEG Manager – Communications
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile:
0406 836 330, Email:


Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper – Policy Ideas