26 September 2023

Food supply not food for thought

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A report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES) has confirmed Australia’s food supply is among the most secure in the world and COVID-19 has not endangered it.

According to ABARES the nation ranks in the top 10 per cent of countries under the World Food Summit’s Global Food Security Index. The index measures 34 criteria covering affordability, availability, quality and safety.

The finding was welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, who said Australia would always have enough food because we produce far more than we consume.

“COVID-19 does not change that,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We remain a net exporter of food. We export 70 per cent of our agricultural production.”

He said that in terms of specific commodities, 76 per cent of our beef and veal, 71 per cent of our wheat and 41 per cent of our dairy products are exported.

“A surge in demand had an impact on the availability of some of our favourite products on supermarket shelves,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Shoppers were stockpiling and supply chains had to adjust. This is not an indication of food shortages.

“I’m glad to see the disruption is abating and ABARES’ report leaves no room for alarm.”

He said that ensuring Australia’s food security was a top priority.

“It’s a key part of $320 billion of measures to deal with the impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Littleproud said.

AAmid crucial measures to curb the spread of this virus, we’ve made sure getting food on the table remains an essential service.

“We’ve implemented strategies that include maintaining agriculture’s service and supply lines, extending work visas, and providing air-freight support.

“We’ll continue working with the agricultural sector to carry on with the job of feeding Australia.

“Even through drought and bushfires, the value of Australia’s agriculture continues to grow because of our farming expertise and resilience.

The 11-page ABARES report, Australian food security and the COVID-19 pandemic, can be accessed in its latest edition of Insights at this PS News link.

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