Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce has revealed that during World Food Day, on 16 October 2013, Australia is celebrating the contribution of Australian food producers in feeding local and global communities.
“Food is an important part of our day-to-day lives, and it’s a big part of our economy. Australia is in a strong position as a food producing nation, both locally and globally,” Minister Joyce said.
‘Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition’ is this years theme for World Food Day.
Contributions made from farmers and fishers in Australia was worth $30.5 billion in 2011-12, up 12.3 per cent from the previous year. The total value of Australian farm and fisheries food production was $42.6 billion for the same period, an increase of 3.4 per cent, revealed Minister Joyce.
“Even after years of challenging climatic conditions, our farmers and fishers still produce enough food to help feed about 40 million people living beyond our borders as well as our own population. As well as helping to feed the world, it is great to see that over 90 per cent of the fresh food on Australian tables today is grown and produced here by our local farmers,” Minister Joyce said.
Supporting Australian jobs in the food sector and farming communities was a pivotal focus point of the Australian Government, Minister Joyce revealed, stating Australian food production relies on a fair return at the farm gate for growers.
In 2011-12, 1.64 million people—15 per cent of total employment in Australia— were employed in the food business sector from production through to food service, contributing to one of Australia’s most resilient industries.
“Australian producers are some of the best in the world and will be a vital part of our nation’s future.
“If you really want to say thank you, then buy local today – and every day – and support our food producers in their work in supplying high quality, safe and nutritious food here and around the world,” Minister Joyce said.
More information on World Food Day is available at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.