Benefits to traceability but don’t charge farmers
GROWCOM cautiously welcomes the Federal Government’s recent pledge of $12.4 million to modernise Australia’s agricultural traceability but warns it must not come at an additional cost to farmers.
As Queensland’s peak body for horticulture, we strongly support the idea of better traceability as long as it fits with existing systems, is not duplicated across industry issues and doesn’t affect farmers’ cost of production.
The National Traceability Project aims to preserve Australia’s reputation for clean, green, ethically produced and safe food and assure farmers that their produce retains good quality on its journey throughout the supply chain.
As a booming industry and economic cornerstone of our country, horticulture needs to be at the forefront of government priorities.
Traceability in particular goes a long way towards enhancing trust in Australian-grown products and gives our farmers a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
Over the course of the next six months, Growcom would like to be a part of the consultation to help develop a National Traceability Policy Framework and Action Plan.
We have the opportunity to properly address national food safety incidents and improve our methods of identifying when and where biosecurity incursions occur.
70 per cent of Australia’s agricultural produce is exported, it is absolutely essential for us to protect our country’s image as one of the world’s best food producers.
Modelling data shows that improved traceability and biosecurity could increase agricultural production by $1 billion a year.
Enhanced traceability measures will be a win not just for one industry but all fruit and vegetable industries that operate across a multi-step supply chain.
It is our hope that farmers will soon have full confidence to support their claims that their produce is safe and environmentally friendly when being shipped overseas and transported from paddock to plate.
Our Fair Farms market recognition scheme will also give consumers confidence that the food they eat is produced by growers who treat their workers properly.
Growcom looks forward to working closely with the Traceability Working Group and members from all Australian governments to ensure improved national traceability is beneficial for farmers and doesn’t pose a financial burden.
TRACEABILITY PROJECT: Growcom supports a new scheme to protect Australia’s food image, but says it will work to protect farmers from extra charges, CEO David Thomson says.