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Consumers say they want better animal welfare, but they won’t pay.

Gaétane Potard - Monday, April 20, 2015
Despite Australia’s very strong international reputation for high farm animal welfare standards, there is hardly a week goes by without some sort of media coverage of a claim about the suffering of livestock under Australian farming systems. This past week it was the very weird PETA campaign, summarised  View the rest of the post here 
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Divestment decision criteria are the contentious issue.

Mick Keogh - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The recent decision by the Australian National University to copy decisions made by a small number of overseas universities and sell its investments in companies that are judged to be not meeting environmental, social and governance criteria has created a flood of both support and criticism in response to the ANU decision. It has also highlighted a critical weakness in such decision-making, because of the subjectivity of the criteria used to rate companies, and in many cases the weakness of the data underpinning some of these criteria. Many sub-sectors of agriculture face a growing risk from these types of developments. View the rest of the post here

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Is 'sustainable intensification' relevant to Australian agriculture?

Mick Keogh - Sunday, August 17, 2014

There is a growing list of international government agencies and non-government organisations expressing their support for the concept of the 'sustainable intensification' of agriculture, in recognition of the challenges associated with simultaneously securing future global food security and achieving environmental sustainability. While these international agencies and organisations are actively seeking policies that help achieve both these objectives, the concept is yet to gain much attention in Australia. This post is the first of a two-part series looking at the concept, and its relevance in Australia. View the rest of the post here

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The poms have something to teach the Aussies about promoting agriculture

Gaétane Potard - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The 2014 John Ralph Essay Competition being conducted by the Australian Farm Institute is offering a $5,000 prize for the best essay on the question of whether the Australian agricultural sector would benefit from a common national brand to promote its products in international and domestic markets. While not normally considered a leading agricultural nation, the farmers of the United Kingdom (UK) might be able to teach Australian farmers a thing or two about the development of a national brand for agricultural products. View the rest of the post here

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Animal welfare issues require multiple responses.

Mick Keogh - Sunday, July 13, 2014

The recent spate of attacks on livestock farming by various animal rights activist groups have triggered concern that such campaigns are just a foretaste of the future, and that in the long term unless the industry responds appropriately these campaigns are likely to severely curtail the ability of Australian livestock farmers to remain competitive in global markets. View the rest of the post here

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An open letter to Michelle Bridges about so-called ag-gag laws

- Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dear Michelle, my apologies for writing to you out of the blue and unannounced, but I hadn’t heard of you until today when I drove into town to pay some bills online at the school library. We don’t have internet at the farm and we don’t get newspapers delivered very often, so I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald online while I was there and noticed an article you wrote. View the rest of the post here

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Independent. Always. - unless someone pays to have their own story published

Mick Keogh - Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper is keen to promote itself as always being independent in what it publishes, presumably in contrast to that 'other' major media outlet that only publishes what certain people want printed. But a current advertising campaign that the SMH is publishing for Animals Australia seems to blur the lines between journalism and advertising, and brings into question the 'Independent. Always" claim the SMH has made such a feature of its own promotions. View the rest of the post here

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Meat-free advocates preaching a misleading message

Mick Keogh - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Apparently, next week has been declared meat-free week, and all Australians are invited to participate. Exactly why is not clear, because all the claimed benefits of going meat free for a week are not based on science or logic, and the main motivation seems to be a thinly disguised campaign to end livestock farming. View the rest of the post here

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ACT Factory farming ban scales new heights of hubris and hypocrisy

Mick Keogh - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The passing of legislation by the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly to ban so-called factory farming in the ACT scales new heights of hubris and hypocrisy, not seen since local government authorities decided to declare themselves 'nuclear-free zones' during the 1980s and 1990s. View the rest of the post here

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Animal welfare debate moves to a specious level

Mick Keogh - Sunday, February 23, 2014

Animal welfare for farm animals is an issue that generates impassioned and emotional debates, and it is often difficult to separate the emotional attachment that some people have for individual animals from the broader issues associated with managing large numbers of farm animals that are raised to meet consumer demand for food. View the rest of the post here

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