Australian ag lobbies join forces to boost farm gate value to $74bn

Agribusiness Australia’s CEO tells us the opportunity to invest in the country’s agriculture is ‘still strong’ as the group teams up with the National Farmers’ Federation to drive growth.

Two of Australia’s major agricultural representative groups have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and promote the sector’s interest.

The National Farmers’ Federation, which represents the country’s 84,000 farmers, and Agribusiness Australia, which represents individuals and organisations across the agricultural supply chain, will work together to boost agriculture’s advocacy efforts.

The groups will work together on the NFF’s target to grow Australia’s farm gate value to A$100 billion ($74 billion; €64 billion) by 2030, up from A$63 billion in 2016-17.

Speaking to Agri Investor, Agribusiness Australia chief executive Tim Burrows said the memorandum sent out a positive message to investors.

“The opportunity to invest in Australian agriculture is still strong,” he said. “We’ll work together with the NFF in bringing the government and communities along with us on the A$100 billion target and encouraging them to set forward-looking targets that support future growth in the industry.

Burrows said the partnership had been under discussion for some time and that he saw benefit in the organisations working together more formally, rather than being adversaries.

“We agree on lots of things – like a lot of policy areas – and we disagree on some things, and that’s fine, too. There’ll always be a friendly competitive tension between the two organisations, being suppliers and buyers,” he said.

In a statement, NFF chief executive Tony Mahar said: “The on-farm and corporate aspects of agriculture have a mutual interest in many of the policy areas that are a priority to the NFF: issues like tax and regulatory reform; energy policy; infrastructure; and trade and market access.

“We will present a powerful, united front to the halls of Canberra and ultimately accelerate agriculture to realise its potential.”