National Food Plan

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National Food Plan

Our Food Future

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

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The Australian Government acting through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has exercised due care and skill in the preparation and compilation of the information and data in this publication. Notwithstanding, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, its employees and advisers disclaim all liability, including liability for negligence, for any loss, damage, injury, expense or cost incurred by any person as a result of accessing, using or relying upon any of the information or data in this publication to the maximum extent permitted by law.

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Cataloguing data

DAFF 2013, National Food Plan, Our food future, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra.

ISBN 978-1-76003-000-1 (printed)

ISBN 978-1-76003-001-8 (online)


National Food Plan, Our food future is available at


Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Phone +61 2 6272 3933


During the 2010 election the Gillard Government committed to developing Australia’s first National Food Plan to provide a vision for our food future. The National Food Plan is a roadmap for the future of Australia’s food industry.

Australia’s food industry stands at a gateway to new opportunities. To take advantage of these, the National Food Plan sets out a framework that will guide the food industry, the community and governments for years to come.

From classrooms to kitchens, from fields to factories and from paddocks to Asian markets the decisions that we take individually within a food producing nation spreads across the economy and across communities.

Fifteen percent of the Australian workforce is involved in food production, we export $30.5 billion annually and produce enough to feed the country twice over. Food creation is the biggest employer in rural and regional communities.

Consumers now have more choice and a wider appreciation of different and diverse foods than at any other time in our history. There is increased demand for food across the world and Asia’s growing middle classes continue to seek higher value food products and services. Australian food is recognised as high-quality, safe and sustainable, all qualities in high demand.

The Gillard Government has been implementing a plan for Australian agriculture that first strengthens the foundation and prepares us for the future and emerging challenges. The National Food Plan is the third stage, creating new opportunities.

The National Food Plan sets out key goals to grow our domestic industry and increase the value of our food exports.

We will invest in our research and development capability so that we remain world leaders in innovation and productivity. We will work to improve access to export markets. We will build productive and collaborative relationships with our trading partners, work with our industry to tackle barriers to trade and promote Australia’s brand for food. We will also work to reduce the regulatory burden for food businesses so they can remain internationally competitive.

Our food system isn’t just about high yield agriculture and exports, it is also about local communities growing, preparing and sharing food. We are committed to supporting the growing numbers of farmers’ markets, food sharing networks and community gardens around the country. We will also work to embed food and agriculture within the national curriculum so that our kids know where food comes from and value the hard working Australians who produce it.

The National Food Plan has been developed by the community, industry and government working together. The Gillard Government has developed it to be owned and driven by the whole nation.

Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Senator for Queensland


Foreword 3

Executive Summary 7

Growing exports 8

Thriving industry 9

People 11

Sustainable food 12

How we will keep on track 13

1 Framework for food policy 13

1.1 Introduction 13

1.2 Role of the National Food Plan 14

1.3 Vision to 2025 16

1.4 Supporting the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper 17

1.5 Policy principles 19

1.6 Providing leadership and improving the way we work together 20

1.7 Keeping on track 21

2 Trends, opportunities and challenges 22

2.1 Food demand in the Asian century 22

2.2 Potential constraints on growth 22

2.3 Strengths of our food industry 23

2.4 Consumers defining Australia's food system 24

3 Growing exports 26

3.1 Tackling trade barriers 26

3.2 Building our food trade ties 28

3.3 Building on Australia's reputation 32

4 Thriving industry 33

4.1 An innovative and adaptive industry 33

4.2 Building a skilled workforce 39

4.3 Accessing capital and inputs 41

4.4 Investing in infrastructure and biosecurity systems 43

4.5 A well-regulated industry 46

4.6 Empowering our food regions 50

5 Families and communities 54

5.1 Maintaining food security in Australia 54

5.2 Ensuring the safety of our food supply 58

5.3 Accessing healthy and nutritious food 60

5.4 Informing our community 61

6 Global food security 67

6.1 Providing technical and development assistance 67

6.2 Reforming global markets and seizing the benefits of trade 68

6.3 Helping with climate change and environmental degradation 69

6.4 Helping in times of emergency 69

7 Sustainable food 70

7.1 Producing food sustainably 70

7.2 Sustaining our marine and aquatic environment 77

7.3 Improving our demonstration of sustainability 79

7.4 Reducing waste 82

8 Delivering the National Food Plan 84

Our policy goals to 2025 84

Glossary 97

Abbreviations 97

Key definitions 98

References 101

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