The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in Australia has said the advocate is a positive step towards helping food businesses in the country connect with new markets both at home and overseas.
NFF president Duncan Fraser explained that the creation of new markets as well as the maintenance of existing ones was a major focus for the country. “While this advocate will focus more on small to medium food processors and manufacturers, it will also have flow-on effects back to the farming sector, providing greater opportunities for farmers to supply to these new markets,” he said.
Meanwhile a decision on how the country’s food sector will look will be made by over 90 key industry leaders and decision-makers from across the agricultural sector, as well as those involved in its supply chain. Plans to ensure work goes beyond the farm will also be made, in order to improve selling opportunities for farmers.
“We want to see greater investment in analysis of international markets, where two-thirds of our farm products ends up – identifying the barriers and solutions to existing markets and driving the development of new markets,” Fraser said.
He added that there was a need to invest in business technology, in order to ensure new opportunities translated into farmers selling their produce further. And he said there was a need for the country to build on relationships with its trading partners.
It was explained that the NFF wanted to see more competitiveness and benchmarking tools in order to increase productivity throughout the supply chain, “including a review of current regulation with the aim of reducing regulatory burden”. Fraser explained that the NFF also knew that red tape was an issue for farmers, but said a review would uncover the impact caused by red tape across the full supply chain.
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we believe it is crucial to improve consumers’ understanding and perception of agriculture and we have asked the government to work with the sector and play a crucial coordination and communication role here,” he said. “We await the release of the National Food Plan on Saturday with interest.”