From national talking point to national priority

    31 March 2022

    Disruptions shift the dial on agriculture and food security

    Disruption to global trade over the last two years has highlighted the importance of resilient supply chains to a safe and stable food supply, taking the issue from a national talking point to a national priority. As uncertainty intensifies in the wake of a new global conflict, market access, supply chain reliability and the rising cost of living will be a key focus in the lead up to a federal election.

    Despite facing the single largest disruption to global supply chains since World War II, Australia’s agricultural sector and the many input industries that enable it, delivered for the nation.

    The disruption has tested the resilience of agriculture and highlighted the need for further de-risking, diversifying and resilience building in farming supply chains.

    Contrary to the paddock to plate narrative, access to safe, fresh and affordable food starts with strong foundations in science-driven innovation. Investment positive environments, science-driven innovation and new technologies provide farmers with the capacity to continually adapt, improve and deliver.

    Sound public policy that supports the many agriculture input industries, such as the plant science sector, and efficient regulatory systems are key to the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture.

    The dedication, hard work, skill and experience of our farmers must be supplemented with the right tools to respond accordingly. The many agriculture input industries, such as the plant science sector, will continue to provide that so long as efficient regulatory systems and sound public policy enable them to do so.

    Frameworks that enable mitigation of risk and diversification of supply chains domestically and in concert with trusted international partners remain a critical component to address structural supply chain challenges for Australian farming and supporting industries.

    Government and industry need to be focussed on a vision and a framework upon which Australia’s farming sector and agricultural industries can deliver long term for the needs of all Australians.

    Plant science contributes to the economy and your supermarket trolley. Here’s how:

    • 73% of crops produced in Australia is enabled by pesticides.
    • $1 billion – Australian manufacturing value.
    • 12% average household income is spent on food.
    • $20.6 billion – Australian agricultural output attributable to plant science.
    • Without plant science – vegetables, fruit and bread would cost around 50% more.


    Read the full CropLinks edition.