AUSVEG welcomes initiatives in Greens’ Food Plan
AUSVEG, the national Peak Industry Body representing Australian vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed several initiatives outlined in the Greens’ Plan for Australia’s Food Security, released yesterday by Senator Christine Milne.
The Leader of the Greens’ launched the plan yesterday evening via an interactive online release, the first of its type undertaken in Australia.
“The plan contains several initiatives which would allow Australian growers to remain productive and competitive in what is becoming an increasingly challenging global market,” said AUSVEG Public Affairs Manager, William Churchill.
AUSVEG is the leading voice in horticulture, representing 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
“AUSVEG particularly supports the Greens’ initiative regarding Country of Origin Labelling. The current laws are full of loopholes and as a result, many Australian consumers find determining the origin of their produce extremely challenging,” said Mr Churchill.
The Greens’ plan calls for reforms to food labelling to provide clearer information on Country of Origin labelling by making origin and manufacturing claims clearer.
“We also support the Greens’ push for a shift from free trade to fair trade. In comparison to many of our trading partners, Australian farmers must meet some of the highest environmental and labour standards in the world, and because of this, all new trade negotiations should contain mechanisms that reflect these costs,” said Mr Churchill.
“By shifting from free trade to fair trade, it will be harder to dump cheaply produced foreign vegetable products into Australia, a practice which is currently placing immense pressure on the Australian vegetable processing industry,” said Mr Churchill.
“When you see a tin of tomatoes on a supermarket shelf – which has come all the way from Italy – being sold for less than 70 cents, it is easy to see why the local industry is struggling to compete, and the Greens’ plan offers some solutions for this major issue,” said Mr Churchill.
The Greens’ plan also outlines an increase of seven per cent per year for Commonwealth funding into agricultural research and development.
“Research and Development in agriculture means that our farmers can continue to become more efficient and effective, and adapt to meet global food needs, so increased investment in this field would be a positive for the entire Australian farming sector,” said Mr Churchill.
“Many of the initiatives outlined in the Greens’ plans recognise the importance of the agriculture in Australia, and we would hope that the policies of the Coalition and Labor also take steps to protect one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy,” said Mr Churchill.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill, Public Affairs Manager, AUSVEG.
Mob: 0411 166 748 Phone: (03) 9882 0277 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org