AUSVEG, the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the release of the Terms of Reference for the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released today by the Department of Agriculture.
Some of the focus areas of the White Paper will be food security and the improvement of market returns at the farm gate.
“The Department of Agriculture has identified some of the key issues that must be addressed if Australia is to have a viable agriculture sector long-term, and we look forward to working closely with the cross agency taskforce to ensure that the needs of vegetable growers are represented in the future,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.
AUSVEG is the leading voice in horticulture, representing 7,000 vegetable and 2,000 potato growers.
“It is important that the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper does not discount the importance of investment in Research and Development (R&D). If Australia is to have a competitive agriculture industry, we must remain at the cutting-edge of farming practices on a global scale, or we will be left in the dust,” said Mr Gurney.
“When considering agriculture in Australia, a focus on labour is also critical, and this is a matter that must be addressed in this review,” said Mr Gurney.
The Australian vegetable industry is one of horticulture’s most valuable, contributing over $3.5 billion to the Australian economy annually, and access to labour is a key issue for the sector.
The Australian horticulture industry is the fastest growing sector of Australian agriculture, contributing around $10 billion to the economy per annum.
“Farming businesses are the lifeblood of rural and regional areas, so it is pleasing to see the Terms of Reference identify the vital role that agriculture plays in these areas and the people who make up these communities,” said Mr Gurney.
“AUSVEG enjoys a close working relationship with both the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Agriculture, and will be closely involved as this important process takes place,” said Mr Gurney.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail: email@example.com