The Australian Parliament’s Agriculture Committee has released its report for its inquiry into food security in Australia. The inquiry examined ways to strengthen and safeguard Australia’s food security, focussing on production, supply chains and key inputs, as well as climate change, biosecurity and food insecurity.
Committee chair, Meryl Swanson, said, “Despite Australia being one of the most food secure countries in the world, recent developments both at home and abroad have shown that food security presents real and growing challenges to the nation.”
“Food security is not something that any of us can take for granted. COVID-19, floods, the effects of the war in Ukraine, and outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease in Indonesia have highlighted risks to our food system. Systemic change is required so that all Australians, and those that depend on Australian food production, will be food secure. Consultation, cooperation, coordination and innovation are the keys to food security.” Swanson, said.
The Committee has made 35 recommendations to address food security in Australia, including:
- creating a comprehensive National Food Plan;
- appointing a Minister for Food;
- establishing a National Food Council;
- developing a National Food Supply Chain Map;
- measures to facilitate innovation in the production of food; and
- measures to eliminate food waste.
The report also proposes measures to improve sustainability and resilience in the food supply chain, improve access to labour, and reduce food insecurity.
Over the course of the inquiry, the Committee held 24 public hearings, visited numerous sites around Australia, and received 188 written submissions from individuals, industry and community groups and government bodies.
The Committee would like to thank all those who took part in the inquiry by providing written submissions and giving evidence at public hearings or hosted the Committee on site visits. The Committee is particularly grateful to those who took time out of their days to host the Committee at various sites around the country and the insights this provided into the work of providing for the food security of Australians.
The full report can be found on the Committee’s inquiry webpage.