17 July 2012
Securing a sustainable food supply now and in years to come is something that matters to Australians the country over, and the community and industry will soon have their chance to help shape the future of food policy in Australia with the release of a National Food Plan green paper.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said consultation would begin in towns and cities across Australia after the official launch of the green paper today, which provides the basis for discussion around what should be included in the National Food Plan itself.
“Australia produces enough food to feed a nation almost three times our size, our food system is safe and stable, and there are many new opportunities to export more food to Asia,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The Gillard Government is developing the National Food Plan, along with industry and the community, so we get the right policies in place to make the most of those opportunities, and meet any food-related challenges Australia may face, in coming decades.
“The conversation around our food supply is one that many Australians already have a view on, and I encourage everyone interested to be ready to share their ideas and contribute to the future of food policy in our country.”
The formal consultation includes a series of public meetings to be held across Australia as well as opportunities for people to make written submissions. People will also be able to follow the conversation on Twitter or via the National Food Plan blog on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.
“Australia has a diverse food supply and a high level of food security. The National Food Plan green paper provides an opportunity to bring together all of our policies on food for the first time and look at options for building on our strengths,” Minister Ludwig said.
“We need to support Australia's farmers and processors to produce more food with fewer inputs. We also need to help ensure these goods can move quickly and cost-effectively to market and make sure overseas market opportunities, like growing demand in Asia, are open to Australian businesses.
“The Food Plan will help us meet the needs of growing domestic demand, and seize the opportunities of increased global food demand, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, by looking into existing policy and getting feedback on where improvements need to be made.
“Our food industry provides food for Australians and for an additional 40 million people around the world. It is also one of our biggest employers. The government wants to continue to help Australian food producers increase the value of Australian food production and exports and create a vibrant long term sustainable food industry.”
The green paper will outline the government’s ongoing commitment to partner with the food industry, across the supply chain, to help seize the growth opportunities for the coming decades. Major streams include better regulation, innovation, skills, natural resource management and trade.
For more information on the National Food Plan and how to participate in the consultation process visit National food plan website.
30 July – 3 August
Monday 30 July Berwick public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 31 July Bendigo public meeting 7-9pm
Wednesday 1 August Devonport public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 2 August Hobart public meeting 7-9pm
6 –10 August
Monday 6 August Kununurra public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 7 August Darwin public meeting 7.30-9.30pm
Wednesday 8 August Alice Springs public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 9 August Melbourne public meeting 7-9 pm
13 – 17 August
Monday 13 August Penrith public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 14 August Sydney public meeting 7-9 pm
Wednesday 15 August Mildura public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 16 August Geelong public meeting 7-9pm
20 – 24 August
Monday 20 August Margaret River public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 21 August Perth public meeting 7-9pm
Wednesday 22 August Port Lincoln public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 23 August Adelaide public meeting 7-9pm
27 – 31 August
Monday 27 August Townsville public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 28 August Rockhampton public meeting 7-9pm
Wednesday 29 August Brisbane public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 30 August Roma public meeting 7-9 pm
3 – 7 September
Monday 3 September Canberra public meeting 7-9pm
Tuesday 4 September Orange public meeting 7-9pm
Wednesday 5 September Lismore public meeting 7-9pm
Thursday 6 September Bega public meeting 7-9pm