Parliament releases report on Australian food security

Monday, 11 December, 2023

Parliament releases report on Australian food security

The Australian parliament’s Agriculture Committee has just released the report from its inquiry into food security in Australia.

Initiated in October 2022 after a referral from Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt, the inquiry examined ways to strengthen and safeguard Australia’s food security, focusing on production, supply chains and key inputs, as well as climate change, biosecurity and food insecurity.

Over the course of the inquiry, the Committee held 24 public hearings, visited numerous sites around Australia, and received 188 written submissions from individuals, industry and community groups, and government bodies.

Committee Chair Meryl Swanson MP said that despite Australia being one of the most food-secure countries in the world, recent developments both at home and abroad have shown that food security presents real and growing challenges to the nation.

“Food security is not something that any of us can take for granted,” she said. “COVID-19, floods, the effects of the war in Ukraine, and outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease in Indonesia have highlighted risks to our food system.

“Systemic change is required so that all Australians, and those that depend on Australian food production, will be food secure. Consultation, cooperation, coordination and innovation are the keys to food security.”

Among the Committee’s 35 recommendations to address food security in Australia are: creating a comprehensive National Food Plan; appointing a Minister for Food; establishing a National Food Council; and developing a National Food Supply Chain Map.

The Committee also recommended measures to facilitate innovation in the production of food, eliminate food waste, and improve sustainability and resilience in the food supply chain.

The full report can be found by visiting the inquiry webpage.

Image credit: Manciagli

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