Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and its members have hailed the start of the New Year, encouraging all Australians to join with them in celebrating the International Year of Family Farming during 2014.
NFF President Brent Finlay, a family farmer from south east Queensland, said family farms remain the heart and soul of agriculture in Australia.
“99 percent of Australian farms are family owned and operated – and this year, the United Nations-declared International Year of Family Farming, gives us the opportunity to celebrate the enormous contribution these farmers make,” Mr Finlay said.
“Australia’s 157,000 farmers not only produce 93 percent of Australia’s daily domestic food supply – the clean, healthy, fresh food that Australian families enjoy – they also contribute $38 billion in export income to the economy and manage some 59 percent of Australia’s land.
“This year, the focus on our farmers via the International Year of Family Farming will help us tell their story and raise awareness of agriculture’s contribution,” Mr Finlay said.
2014 also marks the 35th anniversary of the NFF, which was formed in 1979 as the united national voice for Australian farmers.
To celebrate both occasions, the NFF will again host its biennial conference, the NFF National Congress, in Canberra in October 2014, with a focus on community values, attitudes and expectations regarding Australian agriculture.
The NFF will also continue to work with the agricultural industry and the wider supply chain to enact the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture – one of the most innovative and ambitious programs ever undertaken to ensure a strong future for the agricultural sector – and will work with the Government on the development of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
“We look forward to working with our members, farmers and all within agriculture to celebrate the International Year of Family Farming this year, and to develop both our National Congress and the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture,” Mr Finlay said.
The NFF member organisations are: AgForce Queensland, Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd, Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Ltd, Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Australian Pork Ltd, Australian Veterinary Association, Beechworth Honey Pty Ltd, CANEGROWERS, Cattle Council of Australia, Corporate Agriculture Group, Cotton Australia Ltd, Dried Fruits Australia, Goat Industry Council of Australia, GrainCorp, GrainGrowers Ltd, Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, NSW Farmers, NSW Irrigators Council, Pastoralists Association of West Darling, Ricegrowers Association of Australia, Ridley Corporation Ltd, Ruralco Holdings Ltd, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers’ Association, Victorian Farmers Federation, WAFarmers and WoolProducers.