Minister’s commitment that Australia’s food production and supply chain will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns welcomed

    25 March 2020

    Australia’s plant science industry today welcomed the Federal Minister for Agriculture’s undertaking that the nation’s agriculture and food production, and associated supply chains, will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns.

    Chief Executive Officer of the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “All CropLife member companies are undertaking the necessary actions to ensure the production and supply of critical crop protection and GM crop products remains uninterrupted at this important time for farming and food security.

    “Given the significant challenges the farming sector and key support industries such as ours are facing as a result of COVID-19, I was pleased to participate in a teleconference industry roundtable hosted by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, today.

    “The loss of access to crucial crop protection products that our industry produces would significantly impact all farming. We are working with governments at all levels to enable and support our industry to maintain operations and continue the supply of crucial products to Australian farmers.

    “I commend Minister Littleproud on bringing the sector together to address the challenges we are facing and for his undertakings to ensure food production, access to workers, agricultural supply lines, transportation and logistics will not be affected by any of the measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

    “The Minister has been clear that agriculture and all agricultural input industries, such as ours, are essential. This recognition extends to our full supply chain from the scientific and chemistry testing labs, through to the ag supply retail distribution network, transport, packaging and the movement of ag-related workers across state borders.

    “Australia’s agriculture industry is going to play a huge part in getting all Australians through this pandemic. The National Farmers’ Federation, state farming organisations and grower groups have been doing a great job in reassuring the nation that farmers have their back. Similarly, the plant science industry wants to reassure farmers that we are here for them.

    “Maintaining our industry’s access to items such as personal protective equipment and industrial cleaning products is essential so that our agricultural chemical manufacturing facilities can continue to operate. Personal protective equipment for our farmers using these products is equally as important.”

    Mr Cossey concluded, “CropLife Australia and its members will continue to support the Australian and global efforts to prevent further spread and impact of COVID-19 and meet our obligations in ensuring food security.”