2014 Winter - Can agriculture grow if food processing dies?

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FPJ1102F - McKinna, D (2014), Food Bowl to Asia: The Policy Context

McKinna, D (2014), Food Bowl to Asia: The Policy Context, in Farm Policy Journal: Vol. 11, No. 2, Winter 2014, pp. 41-49.

The Asian food market is being touted as the ‘dining boom’ that will make agrifood producers the new wealth creators. However, the hysteria surrounding the scale of the Asian food boom needs to be tempered by the reality of our lack of global competitiveness. With an industry strangled on all sides by political red tape and bureaucracy, massive labour overheads and ageing plant and equipment, this apparent opportunity may well be a mirage in the Simpson Desert. Not quite the lean, green, growing machine, for which recent media hype would have us believe, Asian markets are champing at the bit. However, it’s not all doom and gloom and pulling the right policy levers could deliver a simple and straightforward action plan that can have Australia eating our share of the Asian (moon)cake.

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