4 March, 2015
Speaking at the ABARES Outlook conference in Canberra today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck highlighted the importance of recognising future trends facing Australia's agricultural industries.
Senator Colbeck was part a panel discussion about 'megatrends' identified by CSIRO: a hungrier world; a wealthier world; choosey customers; transformative technologies; and critical changes in the global economy, climate and environment.
He said a priority of the Government is looking forwards and identifying future trends that might impact agricultural industries.
"We are committed to reinstating agriculture as one of the five pillars of the economy and ensuring the agricultural industries are well placed to meet future demand," he said.
"That is why we are creating an Agricultural White Paper which will provide a strong and enduring foundation for implementing policy to meet future demands.
"This is also a priority for the Government's Forestry Advisory Council, which is looking at new opportunities and future demand for forest and wood fibre based products. It's important that we spend less time looking in the rear-view mirror and spend more time focussed on the future."
Senator Colbeck said Australia had an important role to play in global food task and a number of opportunities were on the horizon,
"Australia as a lot to offer in the agrifood service sector, for example we could take our food safety expertise to China and form a collaborative approach which would be beneficial to the global food task," he said.
"I believe there are many opportunities ahead for Australian agriculture and conversation like these will help ensure we are in a position to take advantage of them. This is an important discussion and one that I am determined to continue."