Vol. 16 | No. 2 | May 2019

Weathering the new storms:
risks and culture in agribusiness

Climate, culture and risk are now mainstream governance issues in agriculture and natural resource management.
In a recent risk and governance forum held in Australia, experts highlighted that organisations should undertake rigorous review of their non-financial risks, in particular those related to culture and climate. While some sectors – including banking and agriculture – were directly called out in terms of their impact, there were implications for all sectors of industry.
With the increasing focus on the need for good governance, and expectation that the advice provided by professionals meets the highest ethical standards, it is incumbent upon professionals in all sectors to demonstrate how they are acting in the interests of their clients and organisations as a whole, and not just focus on financial performance. (more)



Zara Lowien and Noel Baxter give their views on the MDBP: > Is it responsive enough to account for ongoing climate variability and likely changes in inflows and still meet the needs of all stakeholders? > Are disruption and adjustment, within the MDB irrigation areas, inevitable without changes to water trading rules? > Is a ‘reset’ of the MDBP viable? (more)


Irrigated agriculture is currently facing significant public scrutiny. However, the public and policy discussion on water use is happening largely in the absence of reliable evidence about the value of irrigated agriculture and the consequences to communities of an increased diversion of consumptive water away from irrigation. (more)


In this Hindsight article, we look back at past AFI publications on the agricultural workforce and delve further into future skillsets and changing perceptions of regional or agricultural careers. Skillsets incorporating increased knowledge in areas of technology, environment and management will be increasingly demanded in agriculture. (more)


Teresa Fox joined AFI as a researcher in February. Teresa grew up on her family’s sugarcane farm located halfway between Mackay and Proserpine in North Queensland, which is where her passion for agriculture began. Since moving to Sydney, the divide between country and city has become more apparent, highlighting the importance of community trust and right to farm. Teresa's main research interest areas are the sugarcane industry and agri-food supply chains. (more)


Of the many “us versus them” frames often triggered in agriculture, one of the most divisive is “farming versus the environment”. Australian agricultural producers manage almost half of the country’s landmass. But in mainstream media and policy debate, the environment is discussed as something quite separate from farmers as people and separate from farming as an industry – yet we are inseparably and intrinsically part of the environment, as is the production of food and natural fibre. (more)


Agriculture’s changing risk exposure and management options will be the focus for the Australian Farm Institute’s next mid-year conference, Farming in a risky climate at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane on 26 & 27 of June.
AFI staff have recently spoken at a range of events, including AARES 2019 Annual Conference; 40th Annual Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Conference; ABARES Outlook 2019 Conference; and Regions Rising 2019 National Summit. (more)