Australian Grocery Trolleys Would Be All But Empty Without Plant Science Innovation

    3 April 2018

    A new report by Deloitte Access Economics released today has revealed that the Australian production of crops such as grapes, hops, carrots, peanuts, and onions, would not be commercially viable without the safe and sustainable use of chemical crop protection products. The use of crop protection products directly enables $20.6 billion to Australian farming output annually, providing a significant boost to agriculture as it powers towards being Australia’s next $100 billion industry.

    Mr Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, said “this latest report establishes the most up-to-date data on the agricultural and economic contribution of the plant science industry. These innovations of the plant science industry are a crucial component driving growth in the farming sector and highlight that agtech is essential for agriculture if it is to become Australia’s next $100 billion industry. The agricultural and economic impact of the industries that support the Australian farming sector should not be taken for granted and need to be fostered and encouraged.”

    “The report, which updates the 2013 data, shows that 73 per cent of the $28.2 billion of total Australian crop production, is attributable to the use of crop protection products. Imagine if more than two-thirds of the crops Australian farmers currently produce were lost every year. Our supermarket trolleys would be nearly empty and access to fresh produce would be very limited.”

    “Farmers here and around the world face very significant and increasing challenges as they seek to produce more nutritious, safe, disease-free and affordable food, feed and fibre for the world’s growing population. We can’t simply double our arable land and produce more water. Farmer access to technology and innovation is crucial for the growth in agriculture and its sustainability.”

    “Whether it’s new synthetic chemical, old organic chemical, or the latest biological based pesticides, farmers need to be able to make use of all approved, safe and globally available innovative tools to protect their crops. Australia is fortunate to have an increasingly productive and internationally competitive agricultural sector. This is a result of a major effort by our nation’s farmers with the support of the innovation of crucial supporting sectors, such as the plant science industry.”

    “The report also highlights the additional contributions the crop protection industry makes to the Australian economy in areas of employment, manufacturing, transport, and trade. The report reveals the industry creates 9,225 full-time equivalent jobs across Australia.”

    “This report complements and reinforces other international studies that prove that crop protection products directly improve the cost of living for consumers. A study conducted in the United States of America (USA) by economist Mark Goodwin indicated that crop protection products provide a 47.9% saving on grocery bills for a family of four in the USA. This is also reflected in the Australian context.”

    “It is the dead-hand of unnecessary government regulation that will inhibit our farming sector from meeting its full potential and it’s time for a renaissance of regulation to unshackle agtech innovation so that its full potential can be realised. For the sake of our farmers, our food supply, the family budget and our national economy, it is vital that Australian farmers have access to the most up-to-date, sustainable and innovative crop protection products, the importance of which are only reinforced by this significant report,” concluded Mr Cossey.

    The report can be downloaded at www.croplife.org.au

    Deloitte Access Economics Report | Matthew Cossey, CEO of CropLife Australia | Clip 1

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