The National Food Supply Chain Alliance calls for a food security plan

The relentless and deepening economic and environmental pressures “urgently” call for a national food security plan, says an alliance representing nine of Australia’s largest food producers and retailers.

The National Food Supply Chain Alliance, whose members include the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Meat Industry Council and Independent Food Distributors Australia, said food security risks in Australia have never been more acute following recent extreme weather events and rising inflation been and labor shortage.

Independent Food Distributors chief executive Richard Forbes said the recent floods in Victoria and NSW, combined with the Bureau of Meteorology’s warnings of hot summers and prolonged droughts and a labor shortage of 170,000 people, meant the development of a national safety plan was on hold Must be.

Mr Forbes told NCA NewsWire on Thursday that industry groups who came together to warn of the risk to food prices were “unprecedented”.

He said food prices were expected to rise 6-8 per cent over the next year, while a recent Food Bank report said two million Australians were struggling to get food on the table.

Mr Forbes, who has been meeting with members of the federal government and opposition in recent days, said a national food security plan would be “complex” but would essentially reflect a business-style strategic risk plan.

He said the areas of focus are labor shortages, global supply chains and whether Australia should improve its food processing capability.

“We have to ask ourselves: ‘What can we learn from these (weather) events’?” There are many different parts of the supply chain that are being affected,” Mr Forbes said, adding that “agriculture is being hammered”.

The alliance’s plan comes as the President of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Emma Germano, told Melbourne radio station 3AW this week that more than 300 hectares of crops in Victoria remained submerged and 109,000 tonnes of hay and silage as a result of the flood crisis in north Victoria had been lost.

Ms Germano also said that 9800 animals had died and another 1400 were missing.

“This is going to be a really tough time in farming,” she said.

Ms Germano said prices in supermarkets are being hit as a result of the flooding crisis and the cost to the industry is “millions and millions of dollars”.

Over the past year, the prices of essentials have risen by more than 8 percent, while the consumer price index is still above 7 percent.

Originally released when major grocers called for a national food security plan

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