Thursday, July 19, 2012

National Food Plan

The Australian Government has released a National Food Plan green paper and called for feedback which even includes a blog.
The green paper seeks to inform discussion on the development of the National Food Plan white paper. It discusses a number of options and potential directions that could be adopted by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is seeking feedback on these and other ideas as part of its continuing dialogue before making final decisions about any changes or new initiatives. The government will consider feedback before making decisions about the National Food Plan. Public consultation on the green paper will continue until 30 September 2012.
The paper is a very large document with particular significance for regional Australia. In media coverage the northern food bowl has been given another run. Debate about foreign investment in agriculture, as reported in The Australian, is also sure to generate comment.
As pointed out by the National Food Plan green paper, released for public comment yesterday, there will be 3.2 billion affluent and middle-class people living in the Asian region by 2030, mostly in China, India and Indonesia.
It will be their food needs, not ours, driving the expected Australian agricultural boom.
As the plan starkly states: "Australian investment alone is not enough for our food industry to continue to grow, so foreign investment remains critical to the ongoing success of our agriculture and food sectors."
Current interest in global food supply is also being driven by severe heat and drought in the USA farm belt which has sent prices for wheat, corn, and soy beans soaring with the temperatures.

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