In the news

Once again, the Institute’s annual Agriculture Roundtable Conference received considerable media attention. Popular topics included: Australian exports into Asian food markets, marketing Australian agriculture, and foreign investment.
Australia’s potential to become the food bowl of Asia was discussed in the articles, ‘Business Asian food bowl theory rejected’ (Weekly Times Now, 15/12/2013), ‘Indonesia, the sweet spot for food exporters’ (ABC Rural, 18/11/2013), ‘Australia a small player in Asian agricultural market’ (The Land, 26/11/2013), and ‘Can Australian agriculture sell itself to the Asian market?’ (Farm Weekly, 2/12/2013).

The need to improve the marketing of ‘Brand Australia’ was reported in the ABC Radio National Bush Telegraph story ‘New Zealand trumps Australia as a global brand, say experts’ (26/11/2013), and the articles, ‘Perception crucial to ag’ (The Land, 7/11/2013), and ‘Smug attitude costly’ (Queensland Country Life, 4/12/2013).

The issue of foreign investment, particularly in relation to GrainCorp, was widely reported: ‘Insulation from foreign investment a fantasy: GrainCorp’ (The Australian, 7/11/2013), ‘Why we need ADM: Watkins’ (The Land, 9/11/2013), ‘GrainCorp hoses down foreign buyer fear’ (Farming Ahead Online, 11/11/ 2013), ‘GrainCorp sale also a growers’ failure’ (Weekly Times Now, 13/11/2013), and ‘Agriculture’s next boom is around the corner, says Alison Watkins’ (The Land, 1/12/2013).

For timely updates of recent media articles and interviews go to the Institute's Newsroom.

Upcoming events

  • Seminar: Opportunities to improve the effectiveness of Australian farmers’ advocacy groups, 1:00–5:00 pm, 3 March 2014
  • Conference: Funding Agriculture’s Future, 3 & 4 June 2014

Venue:    Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

More information is available on the Upcoming Events page on the Institute website.

Out and about

Recently the Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, has spoken at:

  • Agriculture: Australia’s Role in global food security? Seminar, United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division). The seminar involved a panel discussion about global food insecurity, and Australia’s role in this issue. The seminar highlighted the potential conflict between the popular enthusiasm for food produced locally by small-scale producers, and the reality that the greatest food production and productivity growth is occurring in the large-scale farm sector.
  • ‘Business Opportunities in India’s Agricultural Sector’ panel at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, Sydney. India has a huge population with growing food demand, but Indian agricultural and trade policies impose considerable limits on the opportunities the Indian market offers to food exporters. Initial opportunities are emerging in pulses and vegetables, and in the export of agricultural technology and technical capacity.
  • National Irrigators’ Councils’ planning day, Canberra. The Australian irrigation sector has been through a tumultuous period with the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and with that now finalised the opportunity is available to consider some of the more strategic and long-term issues that irrigators need to consider. The day involved a facilitated workshop to identify strategic issues and advocacy strategies.
  • Australian Egg Corporation – Annual Conference, WA. A critical issue for the egg industry is the future availability of feedgrains in Australia. Discussion involved long-term trends in the domestic feedgrain market, and the implications of changes in the Australian grains industry on the feedgrain market.
  • Bonlac Supply Company Conference, AGM, Cobden, Victoria. Structural changes in the Australian dairy market are putting greater pressure on the bottom line of Australian dairy farm businesses. The discussion involved consideration of options available to improve farm productivity.
  • CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship FAC, Brisbane. The advisory committee provides an opportunity for an interchange of ideas between CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship scientists and a panel of industry advisors.
  •  Qld Rural Press Club. The address to the Rural Press Club canvassed how Australian agriculture can best promote and leverage a national ‘brand’ in competitive export markets.
  • Suncorp Agribusiness seminars, Longreach, Emerald and Rockhampton (Queensland). The Australian beef industry has been through a tough couple of years, with market interruptions and drought limiting profitability. The workshops provided an opportunity for beef producers to consider some of the strategic issues they face.
Images: Clare Bellfield, Sarah Keogh

Back to February 2014 Insights contents page.