The Australian Parliament’s Agriculture Committee has released the report for its inquiry into food security in Australia, which calls for appointing a Minister for Food and establishing a national food council, among other proposals.
The 35 recommendations made by the committee also include:
- creating a comprehensive national food plan;
- developing a National Food Supply Chain Map;
- measures to facilitate innovation in the production of food; and
- measures to eliminate food waste.
Additionally, the report proposes measures to improve sustainability and resilience in the food supply chain as well as improve access to labour.
Committee Chair, Meryl Swanson MP, said: “Despite Australia being one of the most food secure countries in the world, recent developments both at home and abroad have shown that food security presents real and growing challenges to the nation.”
“Systemic change is required so that all Australians, and those that depend on Australian food production, will be food secure. Consultation, cooperation, coordination and innovation are the keys to food security,” Swanson added.
The inquiry consisted of 24 public hearings, Committee visits to numerous sites around Australia, and 188 written submissions from individuals, industry, and community groups and government bodies.
Australia’s food waste in particular has recently been highlighted as a serious issue – Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) estimated that the nation produces roughly 7.6 million tonnes of food waste per year.
The research also showed that the amount of land used to grow wasted food in Australia covers more than 25 million hectares, a landmass larger than the state of Victoria.