Premium ag credentials to be enhanced with $11m in grants
Australian farmers will be assisted to prove the premium quality, sustainability, and First Nations credentials of their produce through $11 million in grants from the Albanese Government. This funding is one part of the Government’s $100 million investment in enhancing Australia’s traceability systems.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Murray Watt has announced a range of funding decisions designed to support farmers to prove the quality of their food and enjoy premium prices through traceability systems.
“The Albanese Government is turbo charging Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, having invested over $55 million just this year,” Minister Watt said.
“We are providing $11 million in grants under the National Agriculture Traceability Grants Program. These grants support our agricultural sector become even more sustainable, adapt to climate change and benefit First Nations producers.”
The initiatives are:
- $5 million for the National Farmers’ Federation to expand the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework, determine how farmers can demonstrate evidence-based sustainability credentials, and enhance Australia’s international standing on sustainable agriculture and climate action
- $4 million for 11 projects funded under the Sustainability Reporting Uplift Grant Round helping farmers identify and collect data required to demonstrate climate action and to meet emerging international sustainability requirements
- $2 million for the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation to develop an Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework and provide evidence of Indigenous agricultural product credentials for the benefit of First Nations Australians
“Australian farmers already work hard to ensure their produce is clean, green, and sustainable, but we can do more to assure our trading partners of our world-leading sustainability credentials,” Minister Watt said.
“Traceability enables farmers and producers to clearly demonstrate their products are high quality, safe, and sustainably produced from paddock to plate.
“It helps Australia to access valuable international export markets which are increasingly demanding evidence of sustainable, climate-smart practices. It also assists our biosecurity systems through detailed data and tracking of produce and supports the move to cleaner, greener agriculture.
“I’m delighted to see projects awarded to industry and research groups as we move towards a more sustainable agriculture sector. In particular, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to own and benefit from Indigenous agricultural products ensures their practices are recognised, valued, and protected.”
The National Agricultural Traceability Strategy 2023-2033 will be launched in coming months and the draft is available at: www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/market-access-trade/alliance-2022#toc_0
QUOTES FROM GRANT RECIPIENTS:
The National Farmers Federation Acting President, David Jochinke, said the organisation was committed to continuing work on the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework and demonstrating tangible benefits by leveraging the framework to shape emerging international standards through evidence-based sustainability credentials.
“The Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework seeks to futureproof Australian agriculture through a strong partnership between farmers and government,” Mr Jochinke said.
“AASF is a world-first in demonstrating sector-wide sustainability credentials - a collective approach that ensures we meet the needs of our markets, and achieve recognition for our sustainability leadership.
“The AASF will design a robust, data-driven approach that enables our sector to leverage the sustainability reporting already done by our individual commodities, in partnership with the Australian Government and other data sources.”
Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation Chief Executive Officer Joe Morrison said his organisation was delighted to work with the government to deliver Australia’s first Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework.
“The framework will mark a significant development for the Indigenous agricultural sector by delivering further opportunities for Indigenous people through supply chain value adds and an increase in prospects for Indigenous farmers, producers, and processors to enter export markets,” Mr Morrison said.
“At the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, our priority is to invest in people, Country, and future generations. The Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework will play a significant part of this through delivering employment opportunities for Indigenous people.”
The Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework will:
- Deliver ongoing prosperity for First Nations people by adding premium value for both domestic and exported Indigenous products, including a fairer return across the supply chain.
- Increase specialist farmers, producers and processors to enter export markets, especially those involved in exporting boutique premium products.
- Deliver ongoing respect, recognition and growth to all First Nations people and communities, through jobs and employment.